Thousands of air travelers in Europe woke up in the wrong country


Thousands of travelers across Europe woke up yesterday morning in the wrong destination, after Storm Isha caused flight chaos, with dozens of cancellations, diversions and detours in Western Europe.

Traveling by plane is usually the quickest way to get from point A to point B on long-haul flights, but for those who traveled to and from Ireland and the UK last night, flying has become something of an odyssey.

Airports in both Ireland and the United Kingdom were severely affected by the storm, with wind gusts reaching 145 kilometers per hour across the airport runways.

Many westbound aircraft diverted to safer destinations in mainland Europe, often after having traveled all the way to the destination but failed to land.

Ryanair, based in Dublin, was particularly affected, with 166 domestic and international flights canceled on Sunday, according to Kevin Cullinan, group head of communications at DAA, which operates Dublin International Airport.

The airport also saw 36 diversionary flights and 34 roundabout flights, where planes abandoned landing midway through the operation and decided to “go around” for another attempt.

The numbers explain the scenes that unfolded as planes attempted to complete their flights to and from Ireland.

A Ryanair flight was heading from the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands to Dublin, and had almost reached the Irish capital, before turning around and diverting to the city of Bordeaux in France, without attempting to land.

Another Ryanair flight was supposed to take half an hour from Manchester to Dublin. After turning nearby in parking mode, the plane attempted to land in Dublin, but was forced to divert to Paris Beauvais Airport, which took two and a half hours.

A plane belonging to the German airline “Lufthansa”, which was heading from Munich to Dublin, was forced to turn back to the German capital.

The city of Cork, in Ireland, saw 13 flight cancellations on Sunday, in addition to 6 diversions and seven detours and return flights.

The United Kingdom was also hit hard. There were more than 100 detours and returns at UK airports, according to NATS, which operates air traffic control in the UK.

44 flights were canceled in Edinburgh, according to an airport spokesman, who described Sunday’s operations as “difficult.” Eight flights were diverted.

Manchester saw 14 flight cancellations, but turnaround and return flights were lower compared to other airports due to wind direction, according to a spokesperson. The local airline, Loganair, canceled all its flights yesterday at the airport.

Gatwick Airport in London witnessed 22 diversions, however, it was able to receive five flights diverted from other airports, according to an airport spokesman.

Ryanair flight 718 from Manchester to Budapest was seen descending to an altitude of 1,200 feet at London Stansted Airport before ascending again and continuing on its path to Budapest.


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