A cockpit fire on a Qantas Airways Airbus A330-200 forced the aircraft's flight crew to divert it to Cairns early yesterday.

The aircraft, registration VH-EBL, was operating a flight from Manila to Sydney when "an electrical fault caused smoke and small flames near the left hand windscreen in the cockpit", says the Oneworld carrier.

After the fire was extinguished by the pilots, the flight was diverted to Cairns Airport and landed safely about 50 minutes after the incident, it adds.

No one was injured in the incident, says Qantas. There were 147 passengers and 11 crew members on board,

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has commenced an investigation into the incident, and the airline has launched an internal safety investigation.

Qantas says the aircraft involved in the incident will return to Sydney this afternoon after repairs.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news