A replacement aircraft will arrive in Shannon later to take almost 170 passengers onto New York after their plane was forced to divert with a cracked windshield last night.
American Airlines flight AA-141 was travelling from London to New York with 168 passengers and 13 crew when the jet made the unscheduled landing at the mid-west airport.
The flight had taken off from Heathrow at around 7.48pm and was less than an hour into its journey when the crew reported a problem.
The Boeing 777-200 jet was routing overhead Ireland when the crew informed air traffic controllers at Shannon that they wished to divert and land there. The crew confirmed they had suffered “damage to the front windscreen.”
The flight was cleared to descend from 38,000ft and route towards Shannon where airport fire and rescue crews had been placed on standby. The flight landed safely at 9.10pm.
The pilot had reported that they expected to make a normal landing and didn’t require airport fire crews to follow them along the runway.
After landing, the jet taxied to the terminal where airport ground crews were waiting to disembark the passengers. The flight was cancelled and the passengers sent to hotels in Clare and Limerick for the night.
The damage to the window directly in front of the captain’s position was clearly visible although it wasn’t immediately known how this happened. The other five cockpit windows did not appear to have been damaged.
An Airline spokesperson confirmed the flight diverted with a ‘mechanical issue’ and that customers were provided with overnight hotel accommodation. The airline confirmed that a replacement aircraft will be flown in to continue the journey this afternoon.
“We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans, and we are sorry for the trouble this has caused,” a spokesperson said.
The flight is expected to continue to New York at 3pm today.
Earlier in the day, a cargo jet was forced to return to Shannon Airport after the crew reported a technical issue soon after take-off.
The Western Global Airlines MD-11F jet spent about 20 minutes dumping aviation fuel before making a safe landing. The flight continued to Columbus, Ohio in the US this morning.