A380s struggle to land at UK airports amid hurricane-force winds

Published: 10 February 2020 - 5 a.m.
By: Aviation Business

While Storm Ciara in the UK has helped flights to break transatlantic records, it has wreaked havoc for most airlines, which have struggled even to land widebodies at British airports.

A number of Middle East airlines have been forced to delay, cancel and divert flights to other UK and even European airports because of difficulties landing during in winds of up to 90mph.

As long-haul flights from around the world approached the UK, pilots found landing to be unfeasible at times in parts of the country.

Emirates airline was particularly impacted and forced to divert two of its A380s trying to land, according to flight tracker FlighRadar24.

Flight EK15 was diverted to Zurich in Switzerland after failing to land at Gatwick, although a replacement flight is set for today and passengers were provided with accommodation.

Another Emirates A380 attempted to land at Manchester but instead diverted to Frankfurt in Germany. Another flight, EK29 to London Heathrow, was cancelled.

A spokesperson for Emirates airline told Simple Flying: “Due to heavy winds caused by Storm Ciara, Emirates flight EK17 from Dubai to Manchester and flight EK15 from Dubai to London Gatwick on 9th February have been diverted to Frankfurt and Zurich, respectively.

“Due to adverse weather conditions and crew duty time limitations, EK17 and EK15 will continue the flight journey to Manchester and London Gatwick respectively, tomorrow.

“Affected passengers have been accommodated in hotels overnight. Emirates apologizes for any inconvenience caused but the safety of our passengers and crew is of the utmost importance.”

British Airways has cancelled at least 140 flights to and from Heathrow, including long-haul round trips to locations in Dubai, the US and Canada. Virgin Atlantic has cancelled six inbound flights to Heathrow.

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