By Neil Halligan
Flight delayed by 6 hours following medical emergency
An Emirates A380 flight from Dallas to Dubai was forced to divert to Warsaw due to a medical emergency on Wednesday morning, May 20.
One of the passengers, a 55-year-old Nigerian citizen, suffered a stroke and the flight had to be diverted to the Polish capital, where the passenger received medical attention after landing at 5.45am local time.
One of the wheels on the A380, however, sustained damage during landing and passengers had to wait while a replacement aircraft arrived, leading to an overall delay of six hours.
A spokesperson for Emirates apologised for the inconvenience caused by the delay.
“Emirates flight EK222 from Dallas to Dubai on 20 May was diverted to Warsaw due to a passenger medical emergency,” said the spokesperson.
“Subsequently, the aircraft faced a technical issue on ground. Passengers and crew safely disembarked, and Emirates arranged a replacement aircraft to bring all passengers to Dubai, with a total delay of 6 hours. Emirates apologises for any inconvenience. The safety of our passengers and crew is of paramount importance.”
Last month, the Dubai carrier revealed it diverted over 100 flights due to medical emergencies over the last two years, costing it more than $12 million.
"In 2013 and 2014, we diverted over 100 flights for medical emergencies, costing more than $12 million. Unplanned en route diversion of a flight has its own challenges and logistics, and in a number of cases extended delays are experienced," Adel Al-Redha, Emirates' executive vice president and chief operating officer was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency.
An Emirates spokesperson added that the airline had spent more than $6 million on emergency medical training for cabin crew and pilots, with a total of 33,430 hours clocked last year.
Training covered topics such as hypoxia, malaria, dengue, trauma, CPR, and choking and occupational health issues.
Staff were also trained to identify passengers who may be unfit to travel when boarding planes at airport gates, the report added.
There should be a option in the reservation system to voluntarily declare your medical status, this can be useful in emergencies, both in flight and also if the flight is diverted so that the team on the ground is ready with appropriate medical assistance