On July 14th Emirates Airbus A380, which is configured to carry 615 passengers and Air Seychelles Airbus A330 with 277 passengers on board were flying in opposite direction at the same altitude over the Indian Ocean.
The Emirates flight EK703 from Dubai to Mauritius was flying at 40,000 feet and the air traffic control gave the clearance to descend to 38,000 feet on approach to Mauritius. The crew incorrectly stated that its altitude was 36,000 feet, according to the Aviation Herald. At the same time Air Seychelles flight #HM-54 was from Mauritius was climbing at 33,000 in the opposite direction which is in almost Emirates flightpath. Then the Air Traffic control gave the further clearance to climb 37,000 feet.
Now both crews were able to see each other. When it was realised that the Emirates plane was higher than previously thought, and in line with the Air Seychelles A330, flying towards it, a Traffic Collision Avoidance System alert was initiated.
The captain of Air Seychelles performed a sharp turn to the right. Both aircraft crossed each other at the same altitude safely at around 14 kilometres apart.
As reported in AvHerald, “Both crews were visual with each other, received TCAS resolution advisories, in addition HM-54 turned right. Position data off transponders of both aircraft suggest that the horizontal separation between the aircraft was about 7.5nm when both aircraft passed through FL360 at 0 feet vertical separation and was about 4nm when the vertical separation between the aircraft reached 1000 feet again with EK-703 below FL360 and HM-54 levelling off at FL370.”
Air Seychelles praised its pilot for avoiding the possible collision. Emirates would cooperate for the investigation on the matter happened in Mauritius airspace.
A spokesperson for Air Seychelles commended the pilot’s actions. “We commend our Captain Roberto Vallicelli and Seychellois First Officer Ronny Morel who were operating the HM054 flight from Mauritius to Seychelles on the evening of Friday 14 July 2017,” a statement read.
“Their training standard and operating protocols immediately kicked in which demonstrates the extremely high standards of training which our Air Seychelles pilots attain. We highly commend them for what they have done.”