1. ITV Report

BA to put fire-hit Boeing plane back into service after Las Vegas airport blaze

The Boeing 777-200 burst into flames at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on September 8 last year. Credit: Twitter/ericmhays/PA Wire

A London-bound British Airways plane that was engulfed in smoke and flames after catching fire at a Las Vegas airport will surprisingly fly again "as brand new", the airline has said.

Some 157 passengers, 10 crew and three pilots were forced to escape the Boeing 777-200 on emergency slides amid plumes of smoke in September last year, with 27 people taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The flight's veteran pilot Chris Henkey, from Reading, Berkshire, was hailed a hero for saving the lives of passengers after slamming on his brakes when he became aware fire had broken out.

Passengers were forced to evacuate the burning plane on emergency slides. Credit: Ian Payne

Photographs have emerged showing the jet undergoing repairs on the tarmac at an airport close to the Las Vegas strip.

A spokesperson for BA said the engine which caught fire - a General Electric GE90-85B - has been removed by the manufacturer and will be replaced.

The plane will be put back into service once "stringent checks have been completed".

The airframe was inspected by a team of highly experienced engineers from Boeing who concluded that the damage was limited and suitable for repair.

A team from Boeing is carrying out the repair work, which will be certified to the same high standards as if the aircraft was brand new.

– British Airways

The airline said it was still to be decided when the plane will resume flying.

Captain Henkey had 42 years of flying experience with BA and was on his penultimate flight before leaving the profession.

Captain Chris Henkey's quick thinking was credited with saving the lives of those on board.

He later said the aborted journey on September 8 would be his final flight.