A Delta Airlines flight departing from Ghana en route to the United States of America had to make an emergency landing about 5 hours into the journey due to an oxygen malfunction on board. This incident occurred on Friday, September 9, 2023, departing from Kotoka International Airport at 22:00 GMT.
A passenger who was on the flight shared that the flight crew informed passengers about the lack of oxygen, attributing it to a technical issue.
Although the flight’s intended destination was the John F Kennedy International Airport in the United States, Delta Flight 157 had to perform an emergency landing at Lajes Air Base International Airport on Terceira Island in the early hours of Saturday.
A pilot on the flight provided an update to the passengers, explaining the situation:
“We experienced a crew oxygen malfunction in the cockpit, which required us to divert. This was the closest suitable airport, hence our presence here. Currently, we are in the process of locating a maintenance expert. If they can resolve the issue, there’s a possibility we might resume our journey tonight.
“At the moment, I don’t possess extensive information to share with you, but I genuinely appreciate your patience throughout this ordeal. You’ve all been fantastic. I kindly request that everyone continues to remain patient, and we will provide you with as much information as possible.”
The flight attendant assured passengers that they would be taken to a nearby restaurant at the landing site to provide some comfort items, ensuring they didn’t have to worry about food. He also mentioned that the crew would escort passengers out in approximately 30 minutes.
Ghanaian musician and BET award-winning rapper, Sarkodie, was among the passengers on the Delta flight that underwent the emergency landing. Unfortunately, this diversion caused him to miss a scheduled event in Detroit. Sarkodie took to his official X account (formerly Twitter) to share his experience and thoughts:
“I missed my event in Detroit due to @Delta making an emergency landing on an island in Portugal yesterday. It was unfortunate, but I understand that these things happen, so I wasn’t too upset, even though the communication from the airline was poor, and we weren’t kept well-informed about the situation.
“We sat at the airport for about 6 hours, and from what other passengers were saying, this isn’t the first time such incidents have occurred with this airline, especially for travelers from this part of the world (Africa). They keep sending these aging aircraft (business class almost the same as economy) to pick us up, knowing they aren’t safe, but still, they risk lives.
“We almost ended up in the ocean, but thank God we landed safely on that island. There has been no compensation or resolution about our bags, which are still on the island. Moving forward, I don’t want to damage anyone’s business, but I hope they address and resolve this issue. To my fans in Detroit, I’m deeply sorry, and we are working on making it up to you.”