The Boeing 777-300 with the Orange Pride livery belonging to KLM has hit another snag in its repatriation mission. The aircraft has been in China getting a replacement engine installed since it experienced a fault on New Year’s Eve. Due to fly back from Beijing this weekend, following several weeks on the ground, the aircraft was all set to go home when a fault occurred with the other engine.
KLM’s 777 is staying in Beijing
The beleaguered Boeing 777 belonging to Dutch flag carrier KLM looks set to stay on the ground far from home for a little while longer. The beautifully ‘Orange Pride’ liveried 777-300 originally diverted to Beijing on December 31st after experiencing an issue with its left-hand GE90 engine.
Since landing at the airport, Orange Pride, registration PH-BVA, had to wait for a replacement engine to be sent over. On January 11th, the replacement engine arrived, but it needed KLM engineers on-site to install it. With all the COVID restrictions and quarantine requirements in place, this wasn’t an easy task.
However, eventually, the engineers arrived and undertook all the necessary health precautions to enable them to work on-site. The new engine was fitted and tested, and Orange Pride was ready to depart for home. According to the Aviation Herald, last week, on February 4th, both engines had a test run, and the aircraft was scheduled in for a return flight last night.
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Crew arrives to fly her back
In order to make the trip back to Amsterdam, Orange Pride needed a crew. A full team was flown into Beijing via Seoul yesterday, aboard a KLM Boeing 777-200 registered PH-BQA. The late arrival of the crew meant departure was pushed back to this morning. By now, PH-BVA should have been well on her way back to Schiphol.
However, things did not go to plan. As the aircraft pushed back from the stand, the crew received an indication of an engine fault. This time it was a problem with the right-hand GE90 engine! Unable to continue the journey with yet another engine fault, Orange Pride returned to the stand, and the crew disembarked.
With overnight stays complicated and expensive, KLM took the decision to bring the flight crew straight back to Amsterdam. Thankfully, PH-BQA had not yet left, and so at just before 05:00 local time this morning, the 777-200 departed with the same crew back onboard. It landed in Schiphol at 07:30 local time today.
As for the Orange Pride 777, it seems she is destined to spend a little longer in Beijing. Hopefully, this time the fault is minor and won’t require a new engine or specialist mechanics to attend the airport. We’ll keep you updated on progress, as always.
What is Orange Pride all about?
KLM introduced Orange Pride in 2016. The livery takes the traditional KLM blue and merges it with the national color of the Netherlands – Orange. The airline says that,
“The combination emphasises KLM’s Dutch roots and pride in the national colour of the Netherlands.”
According to the airline, the paintwork took 335 liters of paint and a team of 35 people working for four days to complete the transformation. It’s one of the most recognizable aircraft in the world, and KLM will be keen to get her back to her home airport in Amsterdam.
Have you flown Orange Pride? Let us know about your memories in the comments.