Pressurization Problems For Airbus A330-200 Over Sri Lanka

The A330-200 had to stop its climb and descend quickly due to problems pressurizing the aircraft.

On April 21st, an Airbus A330-200 operated by SriLankan had to divert to its origin airport due to the aircraft’s failure to pressurize. The jet was due to fly over 250 passengers to Dubai but returned to Colombo instead.

Incident details On Friday, April 21st, a Srilankan Airbus A330-200, registered 4R-ALH, was set to fly from Colombo to Dubai as flight UL225.
As per data from, the 18-and-a-half-year-old aircraft took off from Colombo at 18:42 local time. However, Aviation Herald reports that after reaching 20,000 feet, the crew decided to stop the climb as there appeared to be problems pressurizing the aircraft. Despite oxygen masks not deploying, the aircraft, with 256 passengers and 14 crew, then descended rapidly to FL080.
Aircraft successfully re-deployed the following day

Aviation Herald notes that passengers were metaphorically left in the dark when the diversion took place, with no announcement being made by the crew. It was only later that passengers were informed that the incident was due to a loss of cabin pressure.

SriLankan’s daily service to Dubai, UL225 was canceled for the day of April 21st. This forced passengers to wait until the following day to resume the journey. 4R-ALH was repaired and departed again for Dubai on April 22nd as a special service which lists as flight ALK225D. This service departed Colombo at 11:32 and arrived in Dubai nearly four-and-a-half hours later.

With the airline deciding to run a special ‘recovery’ service the next day, it appears that two Colombo-Dubai flights took place on the same day as about seven hours later, on April 22nd, the scheduled UL225 service took off, utilizing the Airbus A330-200 registered 4R-ALC.
The incident aircraft and SriLankan’s Airbus A330-200 fleet

The A330-200 fleet features the airline’s oldest aircraft. Indeed, while notes that the carrier’s overall average fleet age is just over 11 years, with the A330-200s now averaging nearly 20 years. The incident aircraft, 4R-ALH, is the third-oldest at a little over 18-and-a-half years. The oldest A330-200 is now over 23-and-a-half years old.

Given a special oneworld alliance livery in 2014, 4R-ALH was first delivered from Airbus to a now-defunct Italian airline by the name of Livingston Energy Flight with registration I-LIVL. Repossessed by ILFC in 2010, the jet was re-registered as 7O-ADX and operated by Yemenia – Yemen Airways before going back to ILFC less than a year later.

The aircraft has been flying with SriLankan ever since and, according to, as accumulated 64,306 flight hours across 14,688 cycles as of January 2023. The aircraft’s current market value is listed at approximately $14.8 million.