A US-bound flight turned around over the North Atlantic this evening and returned to Dublin after a passenger suddenly fell ill.
Norwegian Air International flight D-81823 left Dublin at around 3.05pm bound for Providence, Rhode Island in the US. The flight was about 75 minutes into its journey when the crew declared a medical emergency and turned around.
The pilot had told air traffic controllers that they wished to divert to Shannon Airport.
The crew had been cleared to divert and land at Shannon however soon afterwards the pilot confirmed they would be returning to Dublin instead. The crew advised controllers that there was a doctor on board who was looking after the patient.
While it was believed the patient would require more immediate attention and the decision was made divert to Shannon, the medical advice later was that the passenger was stable enough for the flight to return to Dublin instead.
The flight was cleared to route to Dublin however the crews requested priority landing on their return. The Boeing 737-800 MAX jet landed safely shortly after 5.30pm and was met at the terminal by ambulance paramedics.
No details about the passenger were available while the flight continued its journey at around 7.20pm.
Dublin Airport experienced an increase in unscheduled landings last year.
The airport authority (DAA) confirmed they handled 70 in 2018 including technical, medical and weather-related incidents. This was an increase on the 56 in 2017.
Most of the diversions were weather-related however as many as ten flights diverted with medical emergencies.