December 4, 2023

An A330-300 operated by Air Canada flying from Geneva is forced to divert to Lyon due to computer problems.

On January 8th, an Air Canada Airbus A330-300 scheduled to fly from Geneva (Switzerland) to Montreal (Canada) was forced to divert as a result of difficulties in handling the aircraft. The flight crew informed passengers onboard that their diversion was a result of computer problems.

Incident details

The Airbus A330-300 registered C-GHLM departed Geneva on January 8th at 13:44 local time. The aircraft, performing Air Canada flight AC885 to Montreal, was performing its climb to cruising altitude but, as reported by The Aviation Herald, had been encountering difficulties handling the aircraft.


As a result, the crew made the decision to stop its climb at FL220 and divert to Lyon. We can see from tracking data that the aircraft spent about 45 minutes at FL220, flying in a rather irregular pattern, declaring PAN PAN in the process. The aircraft was able to touch down at Lyon’s runway 17R at 15:00 local time – approximately 75 minutes after it had initially departed from Geneva.

Swiss media outlet ’24’ quotes a Skyguide air traffic control service as stating “the pilot had difficulty managing the aircraft after take-off. He made the decision to land for safety reasons.” Days later, on January 12th, Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) reported that the crew noticed navigation errors, and had been unable to fly planned waypoints, losing all navigation shortly after. A source reporting to The Aviation Herald later disclosed that a “drain master heater had failed.”

Flight Path A330


Resetting the system and returning to Canada

Upon landing at Lyon, maintenance crews conducted a complete reset of the aircraft’s inertial reference system. With this fix, the aircraft departed Lyon for Toronto on January 9th at 15:23 local time. Operating as flight AC7073, this departure took place a little over 24 hours after the A330 landed at Lyon.

So how did affected passengers make it home? Reaching out to Air Canada, a spokesperson tells Simple Flying:

“Our customers were provided hotels for the night in Lyon and transported home the next day on a different aircraft, which was sent to Lyon to bring them home.”

As for the fate of the incident aircraft, C-GHLM departed for Paris Charles de Gaulle as flight AC872 some five hours after safely landing in Toronto.

Airbus A330 Air Canada

About C-GHLM

The Airbus A330-300 registered C-GHLM arrived at Air Canada in August of 2001. With MSN 419, the aircraft is now approximately 21-and-a-half years of age.

Over those 21-plus years of service, AeroInside notes an unfortunate list of incidents taking place over the course of its ‘career.’ These include the following:

  • October 2013: Runway incursion at Calgary International Airport.
  • January 2017: Loss of cabin pressure while flying from Montreal to Vancouver.
  • March 2018: Rejected take-off at Zurich due to engine stall.
  • October 2018: During a flight from Montreal to Rome, pressure for the crew oxygen was decreasing as air could be heard escaping.
  • February 2019: Multiple system faults close to Montreal while flying from Toronto to Zurich.

What do you think of this latest incident involving this Air Canada Airbus A330? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Sources:,, Aviation Herald, 24, AeroInside

  • Air Canada Airbus A320-211 C-GQCA

    Air Canada

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Calgary International Airport, Montréal–Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Michael Rousseau