A flight attendant holds a cloth in front of her mouth as she uses a fire extinguisher to douse a powerbank fire on a Royal Brunei Airlines Airbus A flight attendant holds a cloth in front of her mouth as she uses a fire extinguisher to douse a powerbank fire on a Royal Brunei Airlines Airbus

A powerbank has caught fire on an aircraft in the second similar incident in just 11 days.

The powerbank, used to charge up personal electronic devices such as laptops or mobile phones, suffered a thermal runaway and emitted smoke on a Royal Brunei Airlines Airbus flying from Hong Kong to Brunei on January 3. According to the Aviation Herald, flight attendants used a fire extinguisher on the powerbank and put it into a secure container. The flight continued to destination for a safe landing and no-one was hurt.

This follows a similar incident on a China Southern Airlines Airbus which was climbing out of Penang in Malaysia en route to Guangzhou in China on December 23 when another powerbank caught fire in a passenger’s baggage.  Cabin crew spotted smoke emanating from an overhead locker and consequently the aircraft’s climb was stopped at 9,000ft, fuel was burned off and the aircraft returned safely to Penang.

The two incidents are the latest in a growing number of fires in personal electronic items taken on board aircraft by passengers.

* One way to tackle such incidents is to use an AvSax fire containment bag which can deal with fires in personal electronic devices and are now carried on aircraft operated by 65 airline companies across the world – including some of the biggest and best-known.

AvSax  – which won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2018 - has been used 28 times to deal with emergencies since the start of 2017.

More than 13,000 AvSax are now carried on aircraft worldwide. Deployment is so effective that extremely expensive diversions to alternate airports are avoided.