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Dublin: 21 °C Monday 22 July, 2019
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Transatlantic flight forced to divert to Shannon over 'abusive passenger'

The flight crew requested to divert to Dublin Airport to have a male passenger “off-loaded”.

File image of Lufthansa jet.
File image of Lufthansa jet.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

A MAN HAS been arrested after a transatlantic flight was forced to divert to Shannon Airport this evening.

Lufthansa flight LH-412 was travelling from Munich, Germany to Newark, New Jersey and had just crossed the Irish coastline over Co Galway when the flight crew contacted air traffic controllers to report they had an “abusive passenger” on board.

The flight crew confirmed that they wished to divert to Dublin Airport to have a male passenger “off-loaded”.

The Airbus A350-900 jet made a U-turn west of Clifden and began to route towards Dublin but was unable to land there because the crew required a longer runway to cater for the extra weight they were carrying.

The crew turned around over the Irish Sea northeast of Dublin and diverted instead to Shannon Airport where the runway, at 3,200 metres or 3.25km long, is the longest in the country.

The flight landed safely at 7.11pm and was directed to a remote taxiway where airport authorities and Gardaí were waiting to board the plane.

The passenger was removed from the aircraft and taken to Shannon Garda station for questioning in relation to alleged breaches of the Air Navigation and Transport Act.

The man, believed to be a Polish national, is alleged to have been abusive to crew members while an assault is also alleged to have occurred.

A Garda spokesman confirmed: “Gardaí were waiting for the aircraft when it landed at Shannon Airport. A male passenger was removed from the aircraft and taken to Shannon Garda station for questioning in relation to an alleged incident on board.”

The man’s baggage was also taken off the plane before the flight could continue to Newark. The flight continued its journey at 9.25pm.

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Patrick Flynn

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