Smoke in cabin forces Air India flight to turn back

An Air India plane was forced to return to New Delhi almost 30 minutes into flight.
An Air India plane was forced to return to New Delhi almost 30 minutes into flight.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

NEW DELHI (AFP) - An Air India plane with 160 passengers was forced to return to New Delhi almost 30 minutes into a Milan-bound flight after smoke was detected in the cabin Tuesday (Jan 26), the airline said.

"It was a precautionary landing after the cabin crew was alerted about minor smoke in the cabin almost half an hour after the plane left New Delhi airport on Tuesday afternoon," Air India spokesman G.P Rao told AFP.

"All 160 passengers are safe and have been transferred to another flight. The cause of the smoke in the grounded plane will now be investigated."

It is not the first time that India's state carrier, which has not made a profit since 2007, has been in the news for the wrong reasons.

Last month a London-bound flight with over 200 passengers was forced to return to Mumbai after three hours in the air over a suspected rat sighting in the cabin.

Earlier last year a Milan-bound flight returned to Delhi over another suspected rat sighting.