A holiday flight diverted to Shannon Airport this afternoon after the crew declared a medical emergency.
Ryanair flight FR-7126 was travelling from Dublin to Las Palmas on the Spanish Island of Gran Canaria at the time.
The flight was about an hour into it’s journey and some 300kms south west of Cork when the crew declared a medical emergency shortly after 3.00pm.
It’s understood that there was a trained nurse on board who tended to the patient.
While the airline has not commented on why the flight diverted to Shannon rather than Cork, it’s believed the crew opted for Shannon so they would have time to burn off extra fuel before landing.
The crew made radio contact with controllers at the Irish Aviation Authority’s North Atlantic Communications Centre at Ballygirreen in Co Clare and advised them of their emergency.
The Boeing 737-800 turned around and routed towards Shannon while the crew requested the emergency medical services be standing by for their arrival.
The flight landed safely at 3.43pm and was met at the terminal by HSE ambulance paramedics and airport authorities.
Medics quickly boarded the flight and assessed the patient who was then taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.
The flight continued its journey shortly after 4.30pm once the crew received a new flight plan and the passenger’s baggage had been removed in accordance with security procedures.
A Ryanair spokesman said: “This flight from Dublin to Gran Canaria diverted to Shannon after a customer became ill on board. The aircraft landed normally and the customer was met by medical personnel, and disembarked for further treatment, before the aircraft continued to Gran Canaria. Ryanair apologised to affected customers for this short delay.”
Shannon Airport saw a massive increase in aircraft diversions in 2015 with 319 planes making unscheduled landings.
While the majority of diversions related to weather issues at other airports, Shannon also experienced a rise in emergency diversions where aircraft suffered technical issues or passengers fell ill.
In 2014, the mid west airport saw an almost doubling of medical emergencies handling a total of 22 incidents where aircraft were forced to divert to seek urgent medical attention.
Last year, the number of medical diversions increased further to 27.