Durian: Air Canada flight from Vancouver forced to make emergency landing because of strong smell

The overpowering smell of Durian forced flight RV-1566 to turn back to Vancouver.

An Air Canada flight to Montreal was forced to make an emergency landing when the pilots reported a strong odour onboard. The flight was forced to turn around 37 minutes into the flight because of strong smell of Durian.


The Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300, carrying 245 passengers and 8 crew members was already 37 minutes away from Vancouver when a strong smell started permeating throughout the aircraft.

Flight RV-1566 had declared PAN PAN, deployed oxygen masks and returned to Vancouver.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigated and found that a shipment of Durian in the forward cargo compartment of the aircraft was to blame.

The shipment of Durian was removed and the aircraft was aired out.
The flight went on its way after 20 hours.


Durian is a popular fruit in South East Asia, including the Philippines. The name comes from the Malay word “duri”, which means thorn. Known as “King of Fruits”, Durian is well known for its thorny rind as well as its extremely strong smell.

Durian can grow up to 30 cm long, weighing up to 3 kgs.

Durian is an extremely divisive fruit. Some people love it, some people hate it. Some people don’t mind the smell, others liken it to raw sewage.

It also has a persistent odour, which explains why it took 20 hours for the plane to get back in the air.

Durian is native to Borneo and Sumatra, but is also widely found in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.


It’s not illegal to bring Durian on board a flight, but then again, neither is bagoong.

If your container is not secure, you can expect a pretty bad smell.

Our suggestion? Don’t bring anything that can break and cause any unpleasant smells. Most of everything (including durian and bagoong) are readily available in Asian grocery stores all across Canada.

You don’t want to be known as the guy who made the flight turn around because of Durian.

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