British Airways flight turns around mid-flight

British Airways B747-400 in its Landor livery

British Airways flight BA 81 flying from London-Heathrow to Accra, Ghana turned back over to its base near Barcelona after flying for around 90 mins.

What happened ?

The British Airways flight was scheduled to depart at 13:35 but only departed at 15:28. Initially it had maintained a FL of 33,000 and climbed up to FL 35,000 before squawking 7700 and then making a U-turn near Barcelona and descended by a 1000 feet to 34,000 feet before heading towards London-Heathrow. It arrived back at 18:51 at London Heathrow Airport. The aircraft used was a B747-400 registered as G-CIVN.

Flight path of British Airways BA81

British Airways BA81 had turned back and headed towards London-Heathrow after squawking 7700 while en-route Accra, Ghana.   Photo: FlightRadar24

British Airways had not yet responded to Aerowanderer at the time of publication. But with the information available with Aerowanderer, Ghana had closed all its borders and ban on air travel since Sunday. But its surprising why British Airways had a scheduled flight knowing this unless it was a repatriation flight. Another question which arises is to why the pilot would squeak 7700 ? These questions will only be answered when official information is out.

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