An Etihad Airways aircraft headed to Amsterdam from Abu Dhabi was forced to make an emergency landing in Kuwait after the pilot died mid-air, the UAE-based airline said in a statement on Wednesday.
The flight, EY927, was a cargo service and no commercial passengers were on board.
It departed the capital at its regularly scheduled time of 5.20 am and the pilot's condition deteriorated shortly after the plane was airborne.
“After the captain became incapacitated early in the flight, the First Officer issued an emergency call and safely diverted the aircraft to Kuwait,” according to a statement from an Etihad Airways spokeswoman.
According to the statement, a medical team was waiting for the aircraft in Kuwait following the incident.
“A medical team met the aircraft upon landing in Kuwait to assist the pilot on board. However, after receiving medical treatment, he was pronounced deceased. We are deeply saddened by the loss and are focused on taking care of our late colleague's family at this time, to whom we offer our heartfelt condolences.”
The airline employs at least two pilots for each flight.
Etihad did not release the pilot’s name, age or nationality, however, confirmed to StepFeed that the deceased pilot's family has been contacted.