By Simon Hradecky

A Qatar Airlines Airbus A350-900, registration A7-ALZ performing flight QR-579 from Delhi (India) to Doha (Qatar) with 283 passengers and 12 crew, was enroute at FL400 about 160nm northnorthwest of Karachi (Pakistan) when the crew received a cargo smoke indication, turned around and diverted to Karachi for a safe landing on Karachi’s runway 25L about 33 minutes later and stopped on the runway. A rapid disembarkation via mobile stairs followed, the passengers were bussed to the terminal. Emergency services subsequently found evidence of heat and fire in one of the cargo containers.

The runway was closed for about 2.5 hours.

A replacement A350-900 registration A7-ALK was dispatched to Karachi, resumed the flight as QR-3139 and reached Doha with a delay of about 9 hours.

The occurrence aircraft remained on the ground for about 22:15 hours, then positioned to Doha and is still on the ground in Doha about 7 hours after landing there.

Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority/AAIB have opened an investigation into the occurrence.