Third diversion in three days at Shannon

Third diversion in three days at Shannon


The flight landed safely at 8.36am – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2018

A transatlantic jet diverted to Shannon Airport this morning after a smoke alarm was activated in a cargo hold.

It was the third diversion to Shannon in as many days and the second by the same airline in less than a week.

Virgin Atlantic Airways flight VS-34 was travelling from Antigua in the Caribbean to Gatwick Airport in England when the crew declared an emergency at around 8.00am.

The pilot opted to divert to Shannon after reporting a fire indication in one of the jet’s cargo holds. There were 274 passengers and a crew of 13 on board.

The Airbus A330-200 rerouted to Shannon where it landed safely at 8.36am. The flight was met by airport fire and rescue crews who accompanied the jet as it taxied to the terminal. Fire officers carried out an examination of the aircraft to see whether there was any sign of smoke.

Fire crews were stood about shortly after 9.00am and it’s understood that no sign of fire or smoke was found. It’s now believed the fire indication was a false alarm.

An airline spokeswoman confirmed the flight diverted to Shannon “as a precautionary measure due to a minor technical issue.” The airline says it’s working to get passengers onto their destination as soon as possible.

Last Friday, another Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A330 diverted to Shannon after smoke was reported in the cockpit.

This mornings diversion was also the third at Shannon in as many days.

On Monday a British Airways flight diverted with an ill passenger while yesterday, an Air Transat jet made an unscheduled stop at the airport with another sick traveller.

With the longest airport in Ireland, Shannon is the State’s busiest airport for emergency diversions and other unscheduled landings of which, the airport handed 113 in 2017.

Shannon still handling most aircraft diversions

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.