A Cathay Pacific Airbus A330. Photo: iStock

A Cathay Pacific flight bound for Manila was forced to return to Hong Kong with an engine problem on Thursday night, but landed safely with all 271 passengers and crew on board unhurt, the airline reported.

Aviation websites said flight CX913 was departing from runway 07R in Hong Kong at 8:27pm when the crew radioed “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, lost one engine”.

The pilot informed air traffic controllers when the Airbus A330-300 was over the South China Sea that it would need to return. The aircraft levelled off at 5000 feet and landed at 9:57pm without mishap.

Investigations are underway into the cause of the incident. A witness on the ground said there had been a loud bang, followed by flames shooting from the left-side engine, as the aircraft was climbing from take-off, but Cathay Pacific has not yet confirmed that there was a fire.

A replacement Boeing 777-300 aircraft took over the flight, after passengers were forced to wait more than seven hours.

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