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Inaugural Philadelphia-Iceland Flight Diverted To Boston Due To Rubber Smell

BOSTON (CBS) — An inaugural flight from Philadelphia to Iceland had to be diverted to Logan Airport Tuesday night.

The flight arrived in Philadelphia Tuesday to much fanfare, and the city’s mayor was even on board to celebrate the launch of the new direct route.

icelandair1 Inaugural Philadelphia Iceland Flight Diverted To Boston Due To Rubber Smell

The Icelandair plane that was diverted to Boston, pictured here on its arrival in Philadelphia. (WBZ-TV)

But a spokesperson for Icelandair said that, due to a rubber smell coming from the rear of the plane during the flight to Iceland, the pilot decided it would be best to turn around and have safety officials conduct an inspection.

A passenger told WBZ-TV he noticed that smell.

“My friend and I actually had the seats in the back row,” said passenger Brett Slakoff. “There was a weird smell when we got onto the plane, I just equated it to the bathroom.”

A passenger said they were over Quebec when the plane turned around and headed for Boston.

icelandair2 Inaugural Philadelphia Iceland Flight Diverted To Boston Due To Rubber Smell

State Troopers on board the Icelandair flight after it landed in Boston.
(Courtesy Victor Fiorillo/Philly Mag)

Once it landed at Logan, the plane was met by Massachusetts State Troopers–which Icelandair said is standard protocol when a flight is diverted.

A spokesperson for Icelandair said all passengers were put up in a Boston hotel, and that they would accommodate each as needed.

“It seems like we’re going to get a hotel overnight here, but they haven’t said when the next flight will be or if it’s going to be maybe one or two nights here,” said passenger Melissa Ostroff.

kelley Inaugural Philadelphia Iceland Flight Diverted To Boston Due To Rubber Smell

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kelley aboard the plane.
(Courtesy Victor Fiorillo/Philly Mag)

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kelley was among those who stayed the night in Boston, and said in a statement that he and the rest of his delegation were hoping to leave for Iceland in the afternoon.

“PHL Airport regrets the significant inconvenience this has caused all those on board,” Kelley’s office said in a statement. “We and Icelandair are committed to doing all we can to ensure future travelers have a smooth travel experience on this new route. This is obviously very out of the ordinary.”

The spokesperson said the first of three flights out of Boston to Iceland would leave at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

They also said mechanics evaluated the plane, but couldn’t find anything wrong with it–and that the pilot would test the plane in the air before it is once again deemed safe for travel.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

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