Virgin Australia aircraft lands after engine fire leaving Queenstown

by Peter Newport - Jun 17, 2024

A Virgin Australia Boeing 737 aircraft has managed to land at Invercargill after a dramatic engine failure on take off from Queenstown airport.

The aircraft had flames emerging from one engine and residents across a wide area north of Queenstown airport heard a loud grinding noise coming from the aircraft at regular intervals.

The Melbourne bound flight - VA 148 - initially appeared to be heading back to Queenstown airport but was then diverted to Invercargill where the aircraft flew low over Foveaux Strait to dump fuel before landing on one engine.

Footage on social media taken from Shotover Country showed periodic flames coming from the engine.

Virgin Australia's chief operations officer Stuart Aggs said the flight had diverted to Invercargill Airport and landed safely following a possible bird strike on take-off this evening.

"The aircraft has been met by emergency services at Invercargill Airport.

"The safety of our guests and crew is our highest priority."


Queenstown airport issued the following statement:

"The information we can share at this stage is that Virgin Australia flight VA 148 departed Queenstown Airport at 5.59pm, bound for Melbourne. It experienced an issue just after take-off and has been diverted to Invercargill Airport."

More to follow.



Support Crux Support Crux