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Belgium-Bound Air Canada Boeing 767 Diverts To London Heathrow Amid Multiple System Failures

A routine Air Canada cargo flight on Wednesday, August 30th, saw AC7222 declare an emergency in flight. The service departed from the eastern Canadian Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) in Nova Scotia and was bound for Belgium’s cargo hub, Liège Airport (LGG).

AC7222 was making its way across the Atlantic Ocean at 38,000 ft, and the crew noted unreliable airspeed, so it descended to 31,000 ft at the time. From there, at approximately 230 nautical miles west of the Irish city of Shannon, the crew reported that the aircraft had encountered multiple system failures.

Diverting to London Heathrow

The aircraft then maintained its altitude of around 31,000 ft, declared an emergency, and traveled onto London Heathrow, where it could land safely on runway 27L at 06:21 local time on August 31st.

According to data from Flightradar24.com, the aircraft in question (C-GHLV) remained on the ground at the UK’s busiest airport until September 1st, when it was eventually able to complete its journey to Belgium after a 48-minute flight from LHR at 18:39 and touching down into Liège at 20:27.

From Liège, the 767-300 freighter seems to have returned to regular service, having continued onto Basel and back to Toronto the same day. It is expected to travel onwards to Mexico City on September 2nd.


The 22.2-year-old 767 has been a long-standing employee for the North American carrier and holds the serial number 30852. The aircraft first took flight on June 22nd, 2001, and officially commenced operations under Air Canada on October 18th. In June 2015, the plane was transferred to the airline’s leisure subsidiary, Air Canada Rouge, before being parked and used for crew training through the depths of the pandemic from May 2020 to November 2021.

C-GHLV was then sent to Israel Aerospace Industries for conversion from a passenger aircraft to cargo, and on December 14th, the aircraft was re-born under Air Canada Cargo. The cargo division of the Star Alliance member, which now holds six cargo aircraft, is a mix of two 767-300F and four 767-300ER BDSF, with another four on order, converted from passenger aircraft. Air Canada Cargo expects two Boeing 777Fs to join the pack in 2024.

At least no bear escaped.

While Air Canada’s crew actions are commendable, its pilots would breathe a sigh of relief they didn’t also have to deal with an escaped bear. In August, Iraqi Airways flight 123 between Baghdad International Airport (BGW) and Dubai International Airport (DXB), operated by a Boeing 737-800, had some special cargo onboard. Upon the aircraft’s arrival in Dubai, it was revealed that a bear had escaped its shipping crate.

This led the Iraqi Airways flight crew to coordinate with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities to sedate the bear and extract it from the aircraft with a specialized team dispatched by the UAE authorities. A video posted to YouTube by a ground crew staff circulated on social media. In the clip, the bear can be seen roaming around the cargo hold of the Iraqi Airways 737. The bear even approaches one of the staff members as they rub the bear’s head.

Source: simple flying