A Boeing 777-300ER operated by LATAM has had a challenging few days. One source reported that the aircraft declared an emergency on its way to London from São Paulo, while subsequent flight data showed the aircraft diverting to Lisbon on its flight back to São Paulo as well. Here's what happened.

The first incident

Just after midnight on July 7th, a Boeing 777-300ER operated by LATAM departed São Paulo (GRU) for London Heathrow (LHR) as flight LA8084. Aviation Source News reports that an emergency was declared as the flight was inbound to London Heathrow, squawking 7700 (Mayday) as it flew over the west of France.

The nature of the emergency was initially unknown, but the aircraft completed a safe landing at Heathrow at 14:38 local time. This was notably about half an hour earlier than its scheduled arrival time, likely bypassing the need to enter a holding pattern - a common occurrence for aircraft landing at the UK's busiest airport.

Simple Flying reached out to LATAM about the emergency declaration. Responding on July 8th, a spokesperson stated:

"LATAM Airlines Brazil informs that it was necessary to request medical assistance upon arrival of flight LA8084 (São Paulo/Guarulhos-London) after a passenger became ill on board. The medical team promptly performed all necessary procedures, but unfortunately, the passenger died."

More misfortune: Return flight faces challenges

The aircraft carried out its turnaround activities upon landing at the airport, preparing for flight LA8085. This is the return service to São Paulo scheduled for 21:25 local time. After spending over seven hours on the ground, the aircraft took off at 22:01, bound for Brazil.

flight path
Photo: FlightRadar24.com

Approximately two hours into its flight, the aircraft was crossing over Portugal and heading over the Atlantic Ocean. However, just off the coast of Portugal, the aircraft turned around and diverted to Lisbon. The aircraft landed approximately three and a half hours after it took off from LHR.

Simple Flying had also asked LATAM about this diversion. Unfortunately, the airline failed to address this subsequent incident at the time of writing.

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About the incident aircraft

The Boeing 777-300ER registered PT-MUC has line number 740 and the manufacturer's serial number 37666. Planespotters.net data show that the jet is just over 14-and-a-half years old, delivered to TAM Linhas Aéreas in December 2008. With the eventual merger of LAN Chile and TAM Brasil, the aircraft then officially belonged to LATAM Airlines Brasil​​​​​​.

The aircraft is powered by a pair of GE90 engines - or GE90-115B powerplants, to be specific. ch-aviation.com lists the jet as having accumulated 50,474 flight hours across 5,992 cycles as of April 2021. The LATAM Airlines Group operates a total of 10 Boeing 777-300ERs, which have an average age of 12.2 years. These aircraft are registered sequentially, from PT-MUA through to PT-MUJ.

What are your thoughts on the incidents for this aircraft? Has your flight ever been diverted or declared an emergency?Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Sources: Planespotters.net, FlightRadar24.com, Aviation Source News