Korean Air probes Taiwan-bound Boeing jet that plunged 7,600 metres, made emergency landing

Korean Air said on Tuesday it was investigating an emergency incident at the weekend in which one of its Boeing 737-8 airliners had to divert due to a pressurisation problem, which left 17 passengers requiring medical treatment.

The Taiwan-bound plane had to divert back to Incheon about 50 minutes after take-off on Saturday due to a fault in the pressurisation system, a Korean Air representative said, the latest of a string of incidents involving Boeing aircraft.

Information from FlightRadar24 showed that the plane started descending sharply, dropping nearly 7,600 metres in five minutes.

Seventeen passengers among the 125 people on board received medical treatment and were discharged with no serious injuries, the airline said in a statement.

“We are fully cooperating with all relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident … We apologise to all affected by this incident,” it added.

Saturday’s incident came as Boeing has experienced multiple production and quality control problems on its commercial aircraft since early 2023.

This includes an incident in January in which a 737 Max operated by Alaska Airlines was forced to make an emergency landing after a fuselage panel blew out mid-flight.

A series of incidents led to the appearance of its chief executive, Dave Calhoun, before a United States Senate panel last week.

“Our culture is far from perfect, but we are taking action and making progress,” Calhoun said at the hearing.

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