An Aer Lingus flight made a U-turn over the North Atlantic and diverted to Shannon Airport this afternoon to seek medical attention for a passenger.
Aer Lingus flight EI-119 departed Dublin for Washington in the U.S. at around 1.15pm was about two ours into its journey when the crew declared a medical emergency and turned around.
The Airbus A330-200 jet diverted to Shannon after being cleared by air traffic controllers.
The flight landed at Shannon at 4.21pm and taxied directed to the terminal where airport authorities and National Ambulance Service paramedics were standing by to meet the aircraft.
Medics quickly boarded the aircraft where they assessed and treated the passenger who was then removed by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick for treatment. The flight resumed its almost eight-hour journey to Washington at 5.50pm.
An airline spokeswoman said: ‘Aer Lingus can confirmed that flight EI-119 travelling from Dublin to Washington, D.C. diverted to Shannon Airport today due to a medical emergency. The flight landed safely at Shannon Airport at 16:20 local time and the guest requiring medical attention disembarked. The flight has since continued on to Washington, D.C where it is expected to land at 20:15 local time.”
Of the 130 aircraft diversions to Shannon Airport last year, 16 were medical emergencies, 2 of which involved crew members.
So far this year, the airport has dealt with almost 40 unscheduled landings 13 of which were medical diversions. In one sad incident in February, an elderly passenger passed away before her flight landed despite the best efforts of crew members to resuscitate her.