SINGAPORE - A Singapore Airlines flight from Paris to Singapore was diverted to Azerbaijan on Friday morning after it developed technical problems.
In response to queries from The Straits Times about flight SQ333, an SIA spokesman said the aircraft was diverted due to a technical issue and landed uneventfully at Baku airport at around 6.35am (Azerbaijan local time).
In an update on Friday night, the spokesman said an oil leak was detected from one of the engines.
"After assessing the situation, the pilots decided to divert to Baku, Azerbaijan, as a precaution," he said.
Azerbaijan is near Russia and Iran.
All 229 passengers and 18 crew disembarked normally.
SIA said it could not provide the nationalities of the passengers due to customer confidentiality reasons.
The spokesman had said earlier on Friday: "We are rendering assistance such as providing meals and hotel accommodation to the affected customers.
"Singapore Airlines will mount a relief flight to ferry the affected customers and crew back to Singapore. Further details on the relief flight will be announced in due course.
"The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."
According to flight tracking site Flightradar, the Boeing 777 aircraft left Paris at 11.20pm on Thursday and was to arrive in Singapore at 5.30pm on Friday.
Mr Patrick Southam, 58, an Australian based in Sydney told ST his 26-year-old daughter was on the flight.
She was due to take a connecting flight from Singapore to Sydney on Friday.
Mr Southam said: "We only learnt about an issue when the flight disappeared off FlightRadar24. It just stated it'd been diverted to Baku. I was very worried, and tried contacting the airline by phone, social media but there was no response."
Mr Southam added his daughter told him on Friday evening the passengers had been kept on the plane for about six hours in Baku before they were allowed to disembark.
Mr Southam said the passengers were awaiting temporary visas and had been told a new flight was being arranged for Saturday. In the meantime, passengers will be put up in a local hotel overnight.
He added: "This was our daughter's first solo flight overseas and she was terrified after the pilot announced they were diverting to Baku due to a technical issue. We are relieved everyone is safe."
Flightradar showed the plane was still at the airport in the capital city of Azerbaijan as at Friday afternoon.
In March, an SIA flight from London to Singapore turned back shortly after take-off due to vibrations in one of its Boeing 777-300ER's engines. There were 225 passengers and 18 crew on board that flight.
- Additional reporting by Jean Iau