Back down to earth: Zenit St Petersburg team plane lands safely following EMERGENCY ALARM 20 minutes after takeoff
The official plane of Russian Premier League champions Zenit St Petersburg turned back just 20 minutes into a flight with around 100 passengers onboard after air traffic control reported an emergency alarm call from the aircraft.
Fans were left anxious after the club-branded plane was shown turning around in the air shortly after takeoff from the city’s Pulkovo Airport.
The flight was heading for Ufa International Airport in the capital of Russian republic Bashkortostan when the pilots sounded emergency code 7700 and told passengers that they would be returning to St. Petersburg.
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Supporters who asked why the flight had turned around did not receive a response on the club’s official channels, and no mention of the incident had been made by the Russian giants in the immediate aftermath of the news.
Zenit originally teamed up with airline Rossiya, which is based at Pulkovo, to conceptualize the plane in 2014.
The Airbus A319 bears the blue and white colours of the club in a design created by a fan, and supporters who saw the plane in the skies were encouraged to post about it on social media after it began making journeys in 2015.
Zenit are eight points clear at the top of the Russian Premier League, which was suspended on March 17 with eight rounds of matches still to play.