Little did passengers on AerLingus Flight EI236 know they were in for a surprise ride when the flight took off from Dublin, Ireland, en route to London Gatwick, UK. The strong Storm Ciara wind gusts prevented the Airbus A320 from landing at Gatwick. Instead, almost three hours after takeoff, the passengers found themselves in Germany.

On February 9, 2020, Aer Lingus Flight EI 236 took off from Dublin Airport (DUB) in Ireland, en route to London Gatwick Airport (LGW) in the United Kingdom. The flight was operated with an Airbus A320, registration number EI-DEB, which can typically accommodate 174 passengers. 

The flight, which usually takes around one hour, did reach London. However, on that day Gatwick airport was impacted by very high winds due to Storm Ciara, causing several delays and cancellations. Unable to land, the EI236 made several circles around London, before being diverted away from the British Isles. Passing Belgium on its way to the safe haven, the Flight EL236 eventually landed in Frankfurt Hahn Airport (HHN) in Germany. 

The A320 has since been returned to Dublin and even made a successful Dublin-to-London flight the following day. 

AeroTime News has reached out to Aer Lingus for comment. 

Aer Lingus was not the only airline struggling to land in London due to Storm Ciara, sweeping across Europe. For instance, also on February 9, the British Airways flight 2749 from Geneva Airport (GVA) to London Gatwick (LGW) had to declare an emergency after failing to land twice at its destination airport. Due to the extended flight time, the plane was running low on fuel. It eventually landed in Lyon Saint Exupery Airport (LYS), southeastern France.

On the bright side, the storm did help some UK-bound flights to make impressive times and even break a record. Read more about them here: