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Avianca London-Bogota Boeing 787 routs with engine problems

  • Avianca Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N792AV (2)

    IATA/ICAO code:

    Airline type:
    Full service carrier

    El Dorado International Airport, El Salvador International Airport

    Year of foundation:

    star alliance

    Air group:
    Avianca Group

    Adrian Neuhauser


Avianca flight AV120 between Bogota El Dorado International Airport (BOG) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR) suffered an engine malfunction while cruising in the Atlantic Ocean. The crew diverted to Lajes International Airport (TER), located on the island of Terceira in the Azores, Portugal.

Engine malfunction

On Tuesday, an Avianca Boeing 787-8, registration N781AV, operating a flight from Bogota to London Heathrow, declared an emergency while en route at FL410 over the Atlantic Ocean. The aircraft was approximately 370 nautical miles northwest of Lajes, Terceira Island (Portugal). The crew diverted to Lajes due to a problem with one of the Trent 1000 engines and landed safely about an hour after declaring the emergency.


On board the flight, 244 passengers and ten crew members traveled, as reported by local media.

According to Avianca, the passengers were assisted on the island of Terceira by a supplier. The passengers were then transferred to a specially scheduled charter flight to assist them and transfer them to their final destination, London. Nevertheless, some passengers were unhappy with Avianca’s handling of the incident.

The flight of an Avianca between Bogota and London was diverted to the island of the Azores following an engine malfunction. Photo: Getty Images.

Not good service

It’s never ideal when your flight is diverted, canceled or delayed. Airlines have to deal with angry, confused and worried passengers when this happens. According to some passengers and reported by the Spanish newspaper El País, Avianca failed to meet quality standards in Lajes.

The newspaper reports that the travelers had to wait nine hours inside a room without the possibility of exiting and received only two sandwiches while waiting for their charter flight. Moreover, once the flight was available, it did not take them to their final destination, London Heathrow. Instead, the flight landed at Gatwick Airport, an hour from Heathrow. Wamos Air, a Spanish carrier, operated this flight.

Avianca said it followed established protocols and regretted the inconvenience caused by a “difficult” situation. Nevertheless, a spokesperson for the Colombian airline admitted that the quality of service provided to passengers was not up to the standards set by Avianca. According to this person, Avianca had to depend on a third-party supplier to support its passengers since the company has no employees in the Azores.

Avianca has a fleet of 14 Boeing 787s (13 B787-8s and one 787-9). Photo: Daniel Martinez Garbuno | Single flight.

The aircraft involved in the incident

The aircraft involved in this incident is a Boeing 787-8 registered N781AV. His MSN is 37503, according to ch-aviation, and is 7.94 years old. It was first ordered by Avianca in October 2006 and first flew in October 2014. That same year it was delivered to the South American carrier, which wholly owns the aircraft and does not lease it.

Avianca’s Boeing 787-8 has a capacity of 250 passengers in a two-class configuration, 222 in economy class and 28 in business class. The airline currently has thirteen 787-8s and one 787-9, with a global fleet of 140 jetliners.

According to FlightRadar, registration of 787-8 N781AV continues in the Azores. The plane did not leave Lajes airport.

What do you think of this incident? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: The Aviation Herald, El País, ch-aviation.