September 14. Passengers on Emirates flight EK216 from Los Angeles to Dubai are getting quite the world tour today, as they’re stopping in both Toronto and London. This is Emirates’ longest flight in the world to begin with (since the Dubai to Auckland route is suspended) — the flight ordinarily covers a distance of 8,339 miles, and is blocked at 15hr50min. On this particular flight, passengers will be onboard for well over 24 hours.
EK216 departed yesterday evening at around 5:20PM PT from Los Angeles, and began flying northeast, starting the polar route to Dubai. The flight was operated by an Airbus A380 with the registration code A6-EUU, which is a plane that’s just under five years old.
Over northeastern Canada, just past Hudson Bay, there was allegedly a medical emergency onboard, so the flight needed to divert. There aren’t many airports that far north in Canada that can accommodate an Airbus A380. The decision was made to divert to Toronto (YYZ), which is a major detour.
The flight ended up landing in Toronto at around 3:30AM local time, after a roughly seven hour flight. As a point of comparison, a direct flight between Los Angeles and Toronto would take just four hours, so we’re talking about a roughly three hour detour just to get to the diversion point.
The plane was on the ground there for just over two hours, and took off again shortly before 6AM… but not to Dubai.
While Emirates’ A380 for an 8,000+ mile flight is very well staffed with four pilots and ~25 flight attendants, ultimately you don’t want them working for 20+ hours. At this point the crew didn’t have enough duty time left to fly all the way to Dubai.
Emirates’ operations team had to find a way to get passengers home, which admittedly is more complicated than ever before, especially with current border restrictions.
Instead the decision was made to operate a flight from Toronto to London. Emirates currently operates four daily flights to Dubai, three of which are operated by A380s. With several hours of advance notice, it’s much easier for Emirates to make sure that a crew is available to operate this flight.
Emirates made the decision to cancel this evening’s EK4 from London to Dubai. The flight was scheduled to depart at 8:40PM, and arrive in Dubai at 9:35AM on Wednesday.
Instead the crew that was scheduled to operate EK4 will instead operate EK216, allowing for a crew change, and a seamless transition for passengers (well, as seamless as it can be while double diverting).
Source: One Mile at a Time