- Passengers on a KLM flight on Thursday ended up taking an 11-hour journey from Amsterdam back to Amsterdam.
- They were supposed to travel to Mexico, but a volcanic eruption in the country meant that they couldn’t get to their destination.
- The plane was already over Canada when the crew realised, resulting in a trip over the Atlantic and back again.
- The Dutch airline told the aviation news website Simple Flying that “landing at another airport was not possible, because of the visa requirements of passengers and as there was a large cargo of horses on board.”
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Passengers travelling on a KLM flight on Thursday were forced to endure an 11-hour journey that ended with them being dropped them off exactly where they started because of an erupting volcano.
Flight KL685 took off from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and made it all the way to eastern Canada when the crew realised that a volcanic eruption in Mexico meant that the flight wouldn’t be able to land at its destination.
The flight turned right back around and headed back to Amsterdam, landing at 2:30 a.m., 11 hours later.
The Dutch airline told the aviation news website Simple Flying that “landing at another airport was not possible, because of the visa requirements of passengers and as there was a large cargo of horses on board.”
The flight was over New Brunswick about 5 1/2 hours into the flight when the crew turned around, The Independent reported.
KLM said that the flight, which was operated on a Boeing 747, returned because of a “volcanic eruption in Mexico,” adding that “passengers disembarked normally and have been taken care of in Amsterdam.”
“They will be rebooked on an alternative flight,” KLM said.
Pilots try to avoid flying through any volcanic ash because it can cause poor visibility and put the plane and those on board in danger; planes’ engines have failed midflight because of ash.
A volcanic eruption in Iceland in 2010 forced airlines in many European countries to ground their flights for nearly a week, in the largest shutdown of air traffic since World War II. More than 95,000 flights were cancelled, and tens of thousands of people were trapped abroad.