air canada flight

Air Canada pilots declare emergency during transatlantic flight from Toronto

A routine Air Canada flight from Toronto Pearson Airport to London, England, declared an emergency on Thursday at the tail end of its journey across the Atlantic Ocean. 

According to Aviation Source News, flight AC858 was travelling over the Atlantic Ocean near Northern Ireland when the emergency declaration was made. 

The aircraft reportedly had less than an hour of its journey remaining when the emergency call came in. The aviation news website notes that the emergency was serious enough to prompt the use of a Squawk Code 7700, indicating a serious issue onboard the aircraft. 

The code can be inputted by the aircraft's pilots or instructed by air traffic control (ATC) and alerts the ground crew to prepare for the flight's arrival. 

Initially, it was unclear what the nature of the emergency was, but later, Aviation Source News determined that it was a medical emergency. 

Pilots eventually changed the squawk code from 7700 to 5170, indicating that the emergency onboard was under control, and that the flight did not need to be diverted to a nearby airport. 

The flight landed safely at Heathrow Airport at 3:14 p.m. local time without further incident. 

Lead photo by

Lukas Wunderlich/Shutterstock

Latest Videos

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Travel

You can explore a Titanic-era steamship in Ontario this summer

This historic small town in Ontario is surrounded by natural wonder

Passenger denied Lululemon reimbursement after WestJet baggage delay

These 3 Ontario destinations were just crowned among Canada's best 'hidden gems'

New US border rules soon to kick in for Canadians travelling with a dog

Famous Cheltenham Badlands near Toronto about to reopen with one big change this year

Ontario just got a stunning new $45 million lakefront museum

How to spend a weekend in and around Ontario's 'Amazon river'