Cathay Pacific Airways engineers and Airbus are examining the toilets on the carrier's Airbus A330s and Airbus A340s, after blocked lavatories forced a Hong Kong-bound flight to be diverted to Mumbai.

The same problem on two other flights led to aircraft taking off with fewer passengers on board, says Cathay.

The aircraft involved were an Airbus A330 and an A340, says a Cathay spokeswoman. The toilets broke down in three separate instances over ten days.

In one incident on 17 November, a flight from Riyadh to Hong Kong had to be diverted to Mumbai because none of the toilets on board the A330 aircraft were functioning.

In the other two cases, a flight on 9 November and another on 19 November had to take off with fewer passengers because some toilets could not work.

The flights, bound for Hong Kong, originated from Rome and Dubai respectively. They were operated on an A340 and A330 respectively.

Cathay stipulates that the minimum toilet to passenger ratio in economy-class should be one to 80.

The airline says it has been in touch with Airbus about the incidents.

"Additional cleaning and targeted 'deep cleaning' action is being scheduled along with routine maintenance activity. No schedule delays are anticipated," says the Cathay spokeswoman.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news