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Flights bound for Bermuda diverted and delayed

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Change of plans: passengers stuck at LF Wade International Airport after flights diverted
Delayed flights show up on Skyport’s flight information page (www.bermudaairport.com)
LF Wade International Airport (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

At least 13 flights from six airlines were diverted, delayed or cancelled owing to inclement weather on Saturday, leaving hundreds back where they started and scores stuck in Bermuda, including at least one person waiting to be medevacked out to the United States.

On Saturday, a spokeswoman from Skyport told The Royal Gazette: “Today’s Inclement weather and poor visibility conditions have resulted in visibility levels falling below the minimum requirements for landing at LF Wade International Airport. Several flights have been either delayed, diverted or altogether cancelled.

“We strongly encourage passengers to contact their respective airlines for the most up-to-date status of these flights and any necessary amendments to their travel plans.”

The spokeswoman said unconfirmed reports circulating on social media that challenges with the airport instrument landing system posed problems at LF Wade International Airport were untrue.

She said: “Contrary to misinformation, all relevant instruments at the LF Wade International Airport are operable.

“Today’s flight abnormalities were weather related,” she said Saturday.

A Skyport spokesman added: “It is very unusual for Bermuda to have a weather phenomenon where visibility conditions are so low that they fall below the minimum requirements for an aircraft to land at LF Wade International Airport.

“In order to land on any runway, you need minimum visibility requirements for a pilot to safely land. If it falls below, he or she has to make a decision to hold or go to designated diversion airport.”

Affected flights

American Airlines

AA1289 from JFK landed at 10:38 after holding for approximately 25 minutes

AA825 returned to Philadelphia

AA2044 from Charlotte arrived about 2 hours late

JetBlue Flights

B6203 from Boston – diverted to JFK and cancelled

B62177 returned to LaGuardia and cancelled

B61931/2032 from JFK was delayed and cancelled

United Airlines

UA1985 – returned to Newark and cancelled

Delta Air Lines

DL584 from Atlanta – diverted to JFK, landed in Bermuda at 8.06pm

Air Canada

AC1818 landed about 40 minutes late

British Airways

BA159 landed 20 minutes late

According to Flight Radar 24, five commercial flights on Saturday turned around: Jet Blue 6203 from Boston Logan Airport; American Airlines 825 from Philadelphia International Airport; JetBlue 2177 from New York’s LaGuardia Airport; United Airlines 1985 from Newark Liberty International Airport; and Delta 584 from Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Most were cancelled, but DL 584 from Atlanta flew to Bermuda after being diverted to JFK, landing at 8.06pm on Saturday.

A number of private aircraft returned to their originating airports, including a Gulfstream from Miami.

Four departures from Bermuda were cancelled, three JetBlue fights and a United flight.

British Airways 159 from London Heathrow landed 20 minutes late. Air Canada 1818 from Toronto arrived about 40 minutes late.

Kristy Rego, a Bermudian returning on one of the diverted flights, said the airline told passengers that because the problem was weather related, they would not be getting a refund.

Speaking from JFK, Ms Rego told The Royal Gazette: “I’m a passenger on JetBlue from Boston.

“They are telling us we have to go back to Boston. Our pilot couldn’t fly any more hours.

“First they were saying they would just get us a new pilot. Now they are saying we have to go back to Boston.

“We just asked if we could rebook on another airline. There are no refunds because it was weather related.”

Karen Mocklow Lambert said her brother was due to be airlifted overseas for medical treatment this morning, but his flight was delayed by 8 hours. She told The Royal Gazette: “My brother kept telling me they were delaying his flight, then I finally heard through your article they were diverted due to fog.

“My brother was due to fly out at 11am this morning and headed to Lahey in Boston for surgery. He had been in King Edward VII Memorial Hospital for the last two days.”

A thread on the MAJ’s List Facebook page includes comments from people either affected by the diversions or who know of others who are.

One commenter said: “My daughter is on the Philly flight. Just heard from her that the flight instruments or something are down at the airport.”

Another said: “I am on JetBlue got turned around to JFK. No one has told us why yet.”

Other commenters said they had heard that the problem was related to fog or high winds.

Flights routinely land during times of poor visibility utilising an airport’s instrument landing system, though regulations and company rules require a certain minimum visibility.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Transport said: “Airport operation questions are for Skyport.”

The Ministry of Health did not respond to questions about processes in place for medical emergencies when there is large-scale disruption with air services. Questions have been sent to Skyport.

Flight operations had returned to normal on Sunday, though JetBlue 203’s departure from Boston was delayed for over 3 hours.

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Published June 05, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated June 05, 2023 at 8:00 am)

Flights bound for Bermuda diverted and delayed

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