Qantas said the pilot shut down the engine, but did not specify the problem.
“While inflight engine shutdowns are rare, and would naturally be concerning for passengers, our pilots are trained to manage them safely and aircraft are designed to fly for an extended period on one engine,” Qantas said.
Passengers told reporters in Sydney that they were told when they left the plane that an engine had failed.
They described their experience of the engine malfunction as a “slight shudder” and “bumpy-like turbulence.” Some reported hearing a bang.
Sydney Airport said emergency crews were put on standby as a precaution, including firefighters, ambulances and police.
Neil Hanford, chairman of Strategic Aviation Solutions, a Sydney-based industry consultancy, said 737s can fly quickly and land safely on a single engine.