Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 23 August 2019

Emirates flight to Gatwick diverted following airport closure

Plane forced to land in Heathrow Airport after drones are spotted in Gatwick airspace

Flight EK11 from Dubai to London Gatwick was diverted to London Heathrow. Courtesy Flightradar24
Flight EK11 from Dubai to London Gatwick was diverted to London Heathrow. Courtesy Flightradar24

An Emirates plane is among dozens of flights that were delayed or diverted on Thursday after drones were spotted flying over Gatwick Airport's airfield, forcing its closure.

Flight EK11 from Dubai took off at 2.50am and was due to land in Gatwick at 6.40am. Due to the airport closure, the flight was diverted to London Heathrow after almost two hours of delay, a spokesperson from Emirates said.

“Emirates flight EK15 to London Gatwick departed Dubai with a delay of 1 hour 43 minutes. Emirates apologises for the inconvenience caused but the safety and well-being of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance and will not be compromised,” the spokesperson said.

The flight path showed the plane circle the area above Gatwick Airport, which is the second busiest in the UK, before moving on to land in Heathrow.

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Gatwick closed its airspace on Wednesday night for around six hours from 9pm, UK time, after two drones were reportedly spotted hovering near a runway. The incident caused major disruption during one of the busiest periods of the year, with many likely travelling to the UK for the Christmas holiday.

The airport apologised for the suspension but said the safety of passengers was a priority. It advised travellers to check the status of their flights before heading to the airport.

Updated: December 20, 2018 01:33 PM

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