Overheating IFE Causes Diversion of Air France Flight

Air France 54 from Charles de Gaulle to Washington Dulles International was diverted to Montreal when crew “noticed strong heat on an empty seat on board Business Class” of the Boeing 777 (Reg. FGSQL) .

An Air France spokesperson told Flight Chic that the electrical fault originated at the embedded IFE, confirmed as a Rockwell e-TES Culture IFE system. Boeing and the IFE manufacturer were notified of the fault, the Spokesperson said. Air France could not confirm the model of the seat but is clear from the picture tweeted by a passenger onboard the aircraft, that the seat in question was not of the new ‘Best & Beyond Business’ cabin design which the airline introduced in 2014.


Air France’s New Best & Beyond Business Class, Introduced in 2014/Air France


The flight diversion was precautionary, the airline explained. “Once the electrical system of this seat was deactivated and approval received from the competent authorities, the aircraft was allowed to continue to its final destination,” the Air France spokesperson advised.

 Featured Image: Air France 777/Air France


Marisa Garcia

After working for sixteen years in aviation, specializing in aircraft interiors design and aviation safety equipment, and getting hands-on with aircraft cabins in hangars around the world, Marisa Garcia turned her expertise into industry insight. She has been reporting on aviation matters since 2014. Every day, she's putting words to work.

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  1. Is it not possible to disengage the rule vocals of the individual seat IFE in flight? Did they have to land for this?

    1. Dear Sahirs, thanks for your comment. It was an abundance of caution on the part of the airline, and wise.

      The cabin crew are trained to deal with small cabin fires, but electrical faults can be complicated. Whenever there’s a wiring issue, it’s best to leave these things to experts, which is what Air France did.

      Trained technicians disconnected the system at Montreal, the authorities cleared the aircraft to take off again and everything went well after that.

      Had the airline not made such a stop, and the overheating intensified, perhaps developing into smoke from the seat, it would have been viewed very badly.

      It’s a nuisance to have to divert a flight, but much better than taking unnecessary safety risks in the air. In my opinion, Air France handled this situation very well.

  2. Excuse the typo… That was “disengage the electricals of the…”

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