An international flight bound for Colombo has been forced to make an emergency landing at Melbourne Airport following reports of smoke entering the cockpit and cabin.
Sri Lankan Airline Flight UL605 took off from Tullamarine shortly after 6:30pm Monday but declared an emergency within half an hour of take off.
The airbus returned to Melbourne Airport shortly before 7:30pm after the emergency squawk code of 7700 was sounded.
The emergency call meant the flight quickly became the most tracked flight, with nearly 10,000 people across the world tracking it on FlightRadar24.com.
Crews reported smoke in the cockpit, according to TravelTalk.
Sri Lankan Airline said it has identified a “technical issue”.
“All passengers on-board disembarked safely,” the airline told 7 NEWS
“A team of technicians is currently assessing the aircraft and providing technical support.”
Aviation YouTuber and UL605 passenger Dennis Bunnik praised the crew’s handling of the in air emergency.
“All safe and sound. 30 minutes out of MEL on the way to Sri Lanka we turned around,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Circled for a while and landed with full activation of emergency services.
“We landed safely. Crew handled it very well. Everybody calm on board.
“When (sic) got to gate the captain advised there was an issue with the aircon.”
It is understood passengers have been provided with hotel accommodation and the flight is being rescheduled.
Melbourne Airport has been contacted for comment.
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