A U.S. bound flight had to turn back over the Atlantic and divert to Shannon Airport this evening so the crew could seek medical attention for an ill passenger.
British Airways flight BA-209 was travelling from London’s Heathrow airport to Miami, Florida at the time. The flight departed Heathrow at around 2.45pm and was about three hours into its journey when the crew made a U-turn over the Atlantic.
At around 5.15pm, the flight crew advised air traffic controllers in Ireland that they wished to turn around and divert to Shannon. The crew also confirmed they would have to dump aviation fuel to ensure they touched down within safe landing weight limits.
Airport authorities were notified of the incoming emergency while the National Ambulance Service was also requested to dispatch resources to Shannon.
Shannon’s airport fire and rescue service was alerted and crews were mobilised to designated standby positions adjacent to the airport’s runway. This is a precautionary measure and standard procedure at Shannon when an aircraft has dumped aviation fuel.
The flight landed safely at 6.35 pm and was pursued along the runway by fire crews who also accompanied the jet to the terminal where ambulance paramedics were standing by. A passenger was removed to hospital for treatment.
An airline spokesman confirmed: “We apologised to our customers for the delay to their journey after our flight diverted to Shannon as a customer became unwell onboard and needed medical attention. Our teams are looking after our customers and keeping them up to date.”
The flight is expected to continue to Miami later this evening once the aircraft has been refuelled and crew receives a new flight plan.