Engine trouble sends British Air flight back to Phoenix airport

(Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Photo)

PHOENIX — A British Airways plane leaving from Sky Harbor Airport was forced to return to the gate late Wednesday because of an engine issue, airline officials said.

Flight 288 was on its way to London’s Heathrow Airport when, shortly after takeoff, one of the four engines “experienced a surge,” an airlines spokeswoman said in an email.

Pilots turned around the jet, a 747, and landed safely back at the gate.

“The safety of our customers [and] crew is our top priority,” the airline said in a brief statement.

Some passengers were put up at hotels overnight and flights were rebooked. The flight had been scheduled to leave around 8:30 p.m., which would have put it on the ground in London by 2:30 p.m.

The airline flies out of Terminal 4, the busiest of Sky Harbor’s terminals.