(CNN) — Passengers traveling on an Emirates flight to Brisbane, Australia were shocked to find a hole in the side of the plane during landing.
Occupants of an Airbus A380 traveling from Dubai to Australia noticed the damage on July 1 when they disembarked after about 14 hours of travel.
Pictures of the plane shared on social media revealed the extent of the puncture, which the airline said was caused by a tire bursting due to a “technical fault” during the flight.
One of the passengers on board took to Twitter to describe the “horrific” incident, which happened “during a high altitude flight”.
“It was so scary at first that the crew knew something serious might have happened – they immediately contacted the cockpit,” wrote Andrew Morris, a professor of English at Britain’s Loughborough University.
“Soon, they were back to normal. Their calm demeanor was reassuring: They knew it wasn’t a disaster.”
Although it is not clear how long the plane had been in the air when the problem occurred, some reports suggest that it may have been flying for about 45 minutes.
Emirates Airbus A380 (A6-EVK) departing Dubai (OMDB), UAE on rwy 30L #EK430 Landed safely in Brisbane, Qld, Australia. After landing, a large hole was found on the left side.https://t.co/o1EqBuJ0bA pic.twitter.com/s4p6tIpXDw
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) July 2, 2022
Commercial aviation website Aviation Herald reports that the flight crew notified air traffic controllers at Brisbane Airport of the situation in advance and asked emergency services to attend to the plane once it landed.
Emirates later issued a statement saying the breach did not affect “the aircraft’s fuselage, frame or structure”.
“On July 1, our flight EK430, flying from Dubai to Brisbane, experienced a technical problem,” the statement said.
“One of the aircraft’s 22 tires burst during the excursion, causing damage to a small portion of the aerodynamic fairing, which is the outer panel or skin of the aircraft.”
The airline went on to confirm that the flight had landed safely in Australia, and passengers had disembarked as planned. Damage to the exterior of the wide body aircraft has already been repaired.
“The fairing has been completely replaced and has been reviewed and approved by engineers, Airbus and all relevant authorities,” Emirates added.
“The safety of our passengers and crew is always our top priority.”
Days after the much-loved A380 superjumbo crashed before the pandemic, German airline Lufthansa was offered a reprieve of sorts when it announced plans to relaunch the plane from summer 2023.
The Airbus A380 comes out since Airbus announced in 2019 that it would end production of the A380 aircraft.
CNN has contacted Emirates for further comment.