13:18 GMT06 July 2020
Listen Live
    Europe
    Get short URL
    161
    Subscribe

    A commercial flight from Düsseldorf, Germany, to the city of Olbia in Italy’s Sardinia was forced to make a quick turn-around after learning the destination airport on the island was still closed.

    Passengers aboard Eurowings Flight EW9844 were taken on a trip to whence they came on May 23, following a mix-up regarding the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport’s withdrawal of a previous reopening decision.  

    According to aviation blog One Mile at a Time, the ministry ordered the reopening of the airport on May 17 as part of a new phase in the country’s fight to rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. However, this decision was reversed some hours later by a regional ordinance.  

    A follow-up notice to airmen (NOTAM) was released to reiterate the airport’s closure: 

    “COVID-19. AERODROME CLOSED TO COMMERCIAL AVIATION TRAFFIC IN COMPLIANCE WITH REGIONE SARDEGNA DECREE 23 OF 17TH MAY 2020. RMK: GENERAL AVIATION ACTIVITY AND COMMERCIAL AVIATION ACTIVITY ON DEMAND (AEROTAXI) WITH AIRCRAFT HAVING MAXIMUM CABIN CONFIGURATION EQUAL OR LESS THAN 19 SEATS ARE APPROVED IN COMPLIANCE WITH MINISTRY OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORTATION DECREE 207/2020 AND REGIONE SARDEGNA DECREE 23 OF 17TH MAY 2020.” 

    A Eurowings spokesperson told AFP that the pilot of Flight EW9844 "was told by air traffic control on approach to the destination airport that landing was not possible.” 

    "We have figured out in the mean time that there was a misunderstanding when putting together the relevant information for the flight," they added. 

    FlightRadar24 detailed that the budget airline’s Airbus A320 remained at 1,720 meters above sea level and maintained an average speed of 430 kilometers per hour for around 40 minutes before heading back to Düsseldorf. 

    Though some larger airports in Rome and Italy have been reopened for flights, other runways in Italy remain closed to commercial traffic until at least June 3. 

    Related:

    ‘Why Aren’t You Doing Anything?’: No Arrests After Bloody Brawl Breaks Out on US Flight
    India's Apex Court Raps Govt for Allowing Booking of Middle Seat in Flights Amid COVID-19 Contagion
    80 Flights Cancelled on First Day Domestic Flights Resume in India After Two-Month Hiatus
    New Delhi's Plan to Resume Flights Amid Lockdown Hits Air Pocket as Indian States Undecided
    Dow Jumps 529 Points Amid Optimism Over COVID-19 Vaccine, Reopening US Economies
    Tags:
    coronavirus, COVID-19, Germany, Italy, Eurowings, travel, flight
    Community standardsDiscussion