A Cayman Airways flight headed for New York had to return to Owen Roberts International Airport and make an emergency landing Sunday when it developed a problem with the jet’s pressurization system.
The aircraft, a Boeing 737-300, was climbing around 10,000 feet with 121 passengers on board shortly after its 7:40 p.m. takeoff, when the flight crew decided that the pressurization system was not working correctly, according to a statement from Cayman Airways.
After circling for a brief period of time to burn fuel and reduce the landing weight of the aircraft, the flight landed at 8:18 p.m. without further incident, the airline stated.
Passengers were transferred to a different aircraft, which departed for New York at 10 p.m.
Cayman Airways CEO Fabian Whorms said that the jet was still at a safe operating altitude for unpressurized flights when the problem was discovered.
“Whilst this situation did not constitute a full emergency, in an abundance of caution, the captain requested that the airport’s emergency services be on standby for the landing,” Mr. Whorms added. “As always, we at Cayman Airways place safety as our highest priority and we appreciate the patience and understanding of our passengers affected by this return to [Owen Roberts International Airport] last night.”
According to the flight tracking website flightradar24.com, the aircraft was back in operation today, making a round trip from Cayman to Miami.
Sunday’s incident is the second time since September that a Cayman Airways jet had to return to Owen Roberts International Airport after takeoff due to technical issues.
On Sept. 14, a Cayman Airways Boeing 737-800 bound to Tampa had to make an emergency landing because of engine trouble.
In a statement about that incident, Cayman Airways said at the time that shortly after the takeoff, the aircraft experienced “abnormal engine parameters, accompanied by vibration, on the right-hand engine while climbing through 5,000 feet.”
After the plane was fitted with a new engine, it was returned to service earlier this month. Mr. Whorms said on Nov. 10 that mechanics in Germany were investigating and attempting to repair the damage to the original engine.
Cayman Airways officials still have not stated a cause for the mechanical failure.