Lufthansa Airbus A321 diverts after first officer incapacitated through illness 

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A Lufthansa flight en route from Frankfurt to Seville was forced to divert to Madrid after the first officer became incapacitated through illness. The aircraft, an Airbus A321, landed safely following the diversion upon which the pilot received medical attention. 

The flight involved in the incident, LH1170 on Saturday, February 17, 2024, was en route from Frankfurt-Main Airport (FRA) heading to Seville Airport (SCQ) when the incident occurred. The flight was being operated by one of Lufthansa’s 74-strong fleet of Airbus A321 aircraft, registered D-AISO. 

Flight LH1140 departed Frankfurt at 09:40 for the three-hour flight to Seville where it was due to land at 12:40. While cruising at 35,000 ft about 30 nautical miles southeast of Madrid, the commander of the flight reported to air traffic controllers that the first officer had been taken ill and requested an immediate diversion to Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD). 

Having been granted clearance for the diversion, the aircraft subsequently turned towards Madrid and began a descent of -2,500 ft per minute. The aircraft landed on runway 32L at Madrid around 20 minutes later and once on the ground was met by paramedics shortly after arrival at 11:00 local time.  


Following the aircraft remaining on the ground in Madrid for around five hours, the flight continued to its original destination, flying for 45 minutes, and eventually landing in Seville at 17:18, some five hours and 40 minutes after its scheduled arrival time. The first officer’s condition has not been made public by Lufthansa or Madrid Airport authorities. 

The aircraft involved in the incident has a capacity of 205 passengers in a two-class configuration and was first delivered to Lufthansa in August 2008, making it 15.5 years old. Following the incident, the aircraft returned to the carrier’s hub in Frankfurt and has since completed return journeys to Rome (FCO), Madrid, Vilnius (VNO), and Berlin (BER). At the time of writing, the plane is currently heading to Amman (AMM) in Jordan.  

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