Storm Isha Diverts Dozens of Flights From England and Ireland

A powerful storm diverted dozens of flights in Britain and Ireland on Sunday and Monday, sending passengers to Germany, France and northern Britain, and stranding some at airports overnight.

At Dublin Airport, 166 flights were canceled Sunday night, another 29 flights were canceled on Monday, 36 flights were diverted to other airports and 34 aircraft performed what are known as “go-arounds,” or aborted landings, according to the airport.

Despite the flight chaos, the airport was open and operational on both Sunday and Monday, Graeme McQueen, a spokesman for Dublin Airport, said in a statement to The New York Times. Winds from the storm, named Isha, eased overnight on Sunday and changed to a more favorable westerly direction to allow “for a smooth first wave of flights.”

The storm’s wind challenged flight crews, with gusts between 70 and 75 miles per hour in the south of England and Ireland, Steve Fox, the head of network operations at NATS, which provides air traffic control services in Britain, said in a statement on Monday. In the north, gusts were more than 90 m.p.h.

Mr. Fox said that aircraft that could not land safely were diverted to other airports.

“Yesterday, because the storm blanketed the whole country, we alerted airlines that their normal diversion airfield might not be available and they should plan to potentially have to divert further afield,” he said, adding that flights were diverted to destinations that were “least affected” and still had space available “at the pilot’s critical decision point.”

Many of the flights were operated by Ryanair, a budget airline, including one from Manchester to Dublin that was diverted to Paris and another from Stansted to Newquay, England, that was diverted to Málaga, Spain.

Ryanair said that the storm caused some flights to and from airports in Britain and Ireland to be canceled or delayed on Sunday and Monday, and advised passengers with flights on Monday to check the Ryanair app for updates. It did not specify how many flights had been canceled, delayed or diverted.

A Ryanair flight from Budapest to London Stansted was supposed to depart at 6 p.m. on Sunday. But the two-and-a-half-hour flight turned into a 24-hour journey for Terrell Crossley and her boyfriend, who were trying to get home after a weekend away celebrating his birthday.

The pilot tried to land the plane twice but couldn’t because of the wind speed, Ms. Crossley told The Times. Instead, the pilot diverted the plane to Manchester, about 200 miles northwest of their original destination.

“It was extremely tense and everyone sat in absolute silence,” she wrote of their final descent. “When we landed in Manchester, everybody applauded the pilot and you could feel a sense of relief from the passengers. Everyone was thankful to be on the ground.”

But once the plane had landed, Ms. Crossley said, the passengers were held on the tarmac for two and a half hours, during which there was a medical emergency that required an ambulance. She said there was no communication from the pilot and no access to food or water. Finally, the pilot told passengers that they could get off in Manchester. Not everyone did, and some ended up back in Budapest. Ryanair did not immediately return a request for comment.

Ms. Crossley and her boyfriend booked a hotel for the night in Manchester and took the train to Stanwick on Monday, before finally arriving in London just before 6 p.m. that evening.

Greg Manahan, a television director based in Dublin, was nearly home after a week on vacation on Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands, when passengers on his Ryanair flight on Sunday night were told that they could not land in Dublin, which was about 20 minutes away, and would instead be heading south to Bordeaux, France.

“Bordeaux is a long way away from Dublin, we were almost halfway back to Lanzarote,” Mr. Manahan said.

He said that the passengers had to wait on the plane for an hour after it landed, and that once they were in the airport, there was only one shop selling food still open and “whatever was left got stripped out.”

Mr. Manahan said that the passengers were directed to a line to be set up with accommodations. But after landing in Bordeaux around 6:30 p.m., they were still in the airport at 11 p.m. At that point, many people, including Mr. Manahan, decided to find hotel rooms for themselves.

His new flight to Dublin left after an hour delay on Monday morning, and Mr. Manahan said it arrived around 11 a.m., nearly 24 hours after the flight from Lanzarote took off.

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