by Patrick Flynn
UPDATE 7pm: An airline spokesman said: "Our team at Shannon Airport is providing assistance to customers of United flight 125 from Athens to Newark/New York, which diverted to Shannon Airport because of a mechanical issue and landed safely. The flight was cancelled due to the crew reaching their maximum duty time.”
"We are providing hotel accommodation as well as meal vouchers for our customers, and making arrangements for them to complete their journeys tomorrow. We have apologized to our customers for the inconvenience this caused,” the company said.
EARLIER: A transatlantic jet has made an emergency landing at Shannon Airport this afternoon after the crew was forced to shut down an engine.
United Airlines flight UA-125 was travelling from Athens, Greece to Newark in the US at the time. There were 211 passengers and crew on board the flight
The Boeing 767-300 was west of Donegal when the crew reported an issue with one of the aircraft’s two engines and opted to divert to Shannon and have it investigated.
The crew didn’t declare an emergency however until just minutes before they were due to land when they the confirmed they had shut down the affected engine.
While airport fire crews were already standing by for the jet, the local authority fire service, ambulance service and gardaí had to be alerted once the crew had declared an emergency.
Units of the fire brigade from Shannon Town were mobilised to the airport while additional crews from Ennis were placed on standby at a holding point near Newmarket on Fergus. Ambulance and Garda units were also sent to the airport.
The flight landed safely shortly after 3.00pm and was met by airport fire crews who remained with the jet until it reached the terminal and for a short time later.
It’s not known whether the passengers will continue their journey today.