By Patrick Flynn
A holiday jet was forced to divert to Cork Airport on this afternoon after a passenger suddenly fell ill.
Aer Lingus flight EI-778 departed Dublin at 3.43pm destined for the Canary Island of Lanzarote.
The Airbus A320-200 jet was about 20 minutes into its journey and still climbing to its cruising altitude when the crew issued a ‘Pan’ radio distressed call and declared a medical emergency about 100kms south of Cork.
The crew reported they had a man in his 50’s on board whom it was believed had suffered a suspected heart attack. It’s understood that a doctor who was travelling on the flight treated the man while the flight diverted.
The pilot told controllers that they wished to divert to Cork requesting the emergency medical services be waiting for their arrival.
The flight landed safely in Cork at 4.32pm and was met by airport emergency crews as well as a HSE ambulance. The patient was removed to Cork University Hospital for treatment.
The flight continued its journey to Lanzarote at 5.30pm and arrived two hours later than scheduled.
The return leg of the flight has been delayed as a result and is expected in Dublin at around 2.00am.