A wide-body Delta 767-300ER on its way from Beijing to Seattle diverted to a remote island 1,455 miles west of Anchorage, Alaska, Monday.
Alaska Public Media reported the plane had to land in Shemya, Alaska, which is on the western tip of the Aleutian Islands chain, just east of the international date line, due to potential engine issues.
Flight 128 had 194 passengers onboard.
The airline released a statement to KIRO-TV:
“Delta flight 128 operating from Beijing to Seattle diverted to Shemya, Alaska due to a potential engine issue. Delta apologizes to customers for the delay and has sent another aircraft to continue the flight to Seattle. The safety of our customers and crew is always Delta’s top priority.”
Delta Air Lines sent another plane to pick up the passengers in Shemya and take them to Seattle. They are expected to arrive in Seattle at 9:15 p.m.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, the runway at Shemya is just over 10,000 feet long at Eareckson Air Station, which is an Air Force refueling hub. The strip is also a diversion airport for civilian aircraft that encounter emergencies while flying over the Pacific Ocean.
Because of the partial federal government shutdown, the Anchorage Daily News was unable to reach a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson about the incident.
On July 29, 2015, a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Los Angeles made an emergency landing on the small island after a cooling fan in the cargo area failed.