An Air Berlin Airbus A330-200 was forced to return to Phuket International Airport when a fire broke out in one of its engines shortly after take-off.
According to media reports, the A330, with registration D-AXBA, took off from Phuket at approximately 21:30 local time on 20 December and was bound for Abu Dhabi. However, it made an emergency landing an hour later after the crew reported that one of the aircraft's engines was on fire.
During the landing, three tyres blew out. This prevented the aircraft from being moved for several hours, and the 249 passengers and crew on board disembarked via stairs. The airport was subsequently closed until the early hours of 21 December, when the aircraft was moved on to an apron.
Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows that the aircraft was built in 1999 and is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4168A engines. The aircraft is leased to Air Berlin's parent, Airberlin, and is managed by GE Capital Aviation Services.
Flightglobal contacted Air Berlin, but no spokesman was available for comment.