A Qantas Airbus A380 operating a flight bound for Sydney was forced to divert to Noumea on August 11, making it the first A380 to visit New Caledonia.
“It’s a first for us,” William Grillon, deputy head of operations at the Noumea airport told the ABC. “But we were ready to receive this large aircraft, as the airport in New Caledonia is a diversion airport for the region’s airspace.”
The aircraft had 375 passengers and 26 crew on board and was heading for Sydney from Los Angeles, but the pilots decided to divert to Noumea for additional fuel due to forecast fog in Sydney and along the eastern seaboard. As a result of the diversion, the crew had exceeded their maximum duty time, so Qantas has dispatched a Boeing 747-400 to take the passengers on to Sydney.