A transatlantic flight from New York to Dublin has been forced to turn back after encountering engine problems. Aer Lingus flight EI106 from John F Kennedy International Airport in New York to Dublin Airport is said to have turned back after passengers reported an engine fire.
Although the plane returned safely to New York, many passengers were furious when the airline failed to notify them of the recovery flights, many of whom are expected to miss Christmas with their families as a result.
An Aer Lingus spokesman said the flight returned to New York and was later canceled due to “a technical issue with the aircraft”.
Asked about previous messages sent to passengers indicating that a recovery flight would take off at 8:30 a.m. local time, the airline said “this message was sent in error”.
The airline told Dublin Live: “Aer Lingus teams are currently working to rehabilitate all passengers with alternative flight arrangements and are working to ensure that all customers depart New York by the evening of December 25. .
“The majority of passengers have had their alternative flight arrangements confirmed and we are working on the remainder to ensure everyone has certainty on relocation arrangements.
“We are also trying to book a hotel room for guests who need to stay the night before their departure.
“We sincerely apologize for this disruption to customers’ Christmas travel plans and aim to get them to their destination as soon as possible.”
Kathryn Toolan, a passenger on the flight from Co Leitrim, told RTÉ there were “five or six big bangs”.
The woman, who has lived in the United States for 10 years, said she first thought birds had hit the engine.
“I was actually on the wing, watching it, and we were only in the air for a few minutes and there were maybe 5-6 pretty big bangs,” she said. declared.
“My first thought was ‘did birds fly into the turbine?’ It was big consecutive flashes, then the right engine was on fire for a few moments after each detonation.”
She said the pilot alerted the passengers to the problem, before informing them that although the situation had been resolved, they could not proceed further and should return to JFK.
“No one was really talking, everyone was in shock,” she said.
A number of passengers returning home for Christmas have taken to social media claiming they have not received any updates from Aer Lingus regarding recovery flights.
Irish footballer Jamie Finn wrote on Twitter: “Hi @aerlingus can you please help us? Our flight EI106 had to make an emergency landing and now we are stranded at JFK airport with no bets up to date ?
“We were told a recovery flight was coming, but we were also told there was no flight until December 26th!!!!!”
Ms Toolan also added to RTÉ: “It is possible to go home, but not at any time for Christmas.
“We are standing in the departures lounge eating while waiting to hear from Aer Lingus”
“If they had just said ‘sorry, no recovery flight, go home and the next flight is December 27’, that’s fine, but you told us there’s a recovery flight, they told us literally said they were going to send on an empty plane, and we also have to take the crew home.