A transatlantic holiday flight diverted to Shannon Airport this afternoon after the crew declared a medical emergency off the southwest coast.
TUI Airways flight TOM-044 was travelling from Gatwick Airport in England to Montego Bay on the Caribbean island Jamaica at the time. The Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner jet was about 100 kilometres south west of Ireland and 250 kilometres from Shannon Airport when the crew requested clearance to divert.
The flight crew told air traffic controllers they would need to dump aviation fuel to ensure they touched down within safe landing limits. As a result, Shannon Airport’s Fire and Rescue Service was alerted and requested to be on standby for the jet’s arrival. This is standard procedure at Shannon for aircraft that have jettisoned fuel before landing.
After initially declaring a medical emergency, the crew later stated that their diversion was no longer an emergency but confirmed they required medical assistance for a passenger on arrival.
Once the crew had completed fuel dumping procedures over the Atlantic, the flight continued to Shannon, landing safely at 12.19pm. The flight was met on landing by airport fire crews and at the terminal by airport authorities and National Ambulance Service paramedics.
The patient, understood to be a woman in her 40s, was assessed and treated at the airport before being transported to University Hospital Limerick for further treatment.
The flight resumed its journey after 2.17pm after the aircraft was refuelled and the crew received a new flight plan.