The SriLankan Airlines pilots were alert enough to avoid a mid-air collision with a British Airways plane.

Flight Details

The SriLankan Airlines A330-300, with registration 4R-ALQ, took off from London Heathrow at 9:47PM local time on June 13th, bound forSriLankan.

Just minutes after the SriLankan flight left the airport, British Airways flight BA199 took off from the airport, bound for Mumbai, India. The flight left at 9:54PM.

An ATC in Ankara cleared the SriLankan A330 to fly to 35,000 feet after it was en route to 30,000 feet. The SriLankan pilots ignored the ATC's request to climb to 35,000 feet twice, as the flight crew noticed that the British Airways' plane was just 15 miles away. The British Airways plane was cruising at a higher rate than the SriLankan plane.

The British Airways flight was informed of the SriLankan flight's refusal to climb by the ATC. After seeing the British Airways jet, the Turkish ATC ordered them to stop climbing.

Flight Recordings

Both flights followed the same route and were close to each other over the Turkish Airspace. The same time was chosen for both flights.

SriLankan Flight UL504 at 33,000 feet (23:56 UTC Time)
British Airways Flight BA199 at 35,000 feet (23:56 UTC Time)

The British Airways 777 was flying at a higher speed than the SriLankan A330 which was flying at a lower speed. The lives of more than 500 passengers would have been at risk if the SriLankan captain had climbed to the requested altitude.

The Question Remains Unanswered

The transponder on the flight may have been malfunctioning. British Airways didn't say anything.

SriLankan Airlines Praised Its Pilots

The pilots of the SriLankan flag carrier were praised for their safe handling of the situation.

“The vigilance of the pilots and the state-of-the-art communication & surveillance system onboard the aircraft enabled safe passage for UL 504.”

SriLankan Airlines Statement

The airline said that it was never in danger of a mid-air collision. The probable mid-air collision has been reported.

Earlier Report Was Wrong

Multiple sources are saying that the British Airways flight was going to be called BA 105. The flight was bound for Mumbai.

On June 13th, the flight entered the Turkish airspace after taking off from London.

The SriLankan flight took off at 9:47PM local time and flew into the Turkish airspace at 11:50PM. We decided that the British Airways flight was going to Mumbai.

British Airways flight bound to Dubai was flying over Hungary at 23:58 UTC time.

FlightRadar 24 is the source.