Emirates Airline diverted over 100 flights due to medical emergencies over the last two years, costing the Dubai airline more than $12 million, a senior executive has revealed.
"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.
"Once the affected passenger has been accompanied off the aircraft for medical attention, the aircraft is usually refueled and en route to its original destination within one to two hours," he added.
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.
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