DULLES, Va., Aug. 1 (UPI) — United Airlines Flight 831, en route from Virginia to Mexico, was diverted to Cuba after its crew reported a burning smell in the cockpit, officials said.
The plane, an Airbus A320, carrying 140 people, safely landed at Jose Marti Airport in Havana shortly after noon Sunday, CNN reported.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Les Dorr said the crew detected a burning smell originating in the cockpit after the Cancun-bound plane took off from Washington Dulles Airport in northern Virginia.
Crew members “noticed an unfamiliar smell in the cabin,” said United Airlines spokesman Charlie Hobart.
“In an abundance of caution, the pilots decided to land the aircraft in the nearest available airport,” Hobart said, detailing how the plane ended up in Cuba.
The jet carried 135 passengers and a crew of five, including two pilots and three flight attendants.
The plane remained on the ground in Havana Sunday evening as the airline worked “to re-accommodate our customers,” Hobart said.
United typically doesn’t fly to communist Cuba because of restrictions on the travel of U.S. citizens there.