SriLankan Airlines flight UL504 from London to Colombo on 24th/25th March was diverted to Bucharest, Romania, due to a passenger’s medical emergency.
In keeping with SriLankan’s corporate policy of placing the safety of every single passenger above all else, the captain took the decision to divert to the nearest airport and alerted airport authorities at Bucharest’s Henry Coanda International Airport.
The A330-300 aircraft was several hours into its flight from London Heathrow when the female passenger experienced difficulties in the early hours shortly after midnight.
Upon landing, airport medical personnel immediately boarded the aircraft and provided medical assistance to the passenger, who was suspected to be suffering from kidney failure. SriLankan Airlines is delighted to report that the passenger’s situation was stabilized.
It was not possible for the technical crew (pilots) on board to continue the flight on to Colombo, due to international limitations on the length of time that technical crew may continuously fly, especially as procedures such as refueling, flight documentation and engineering checks by ground engineers at Henry Coanda International Airport also required a certain amount of time. Engineering checks are a vital aspect of the safety of each aircraft, where the aircraft is certified as safe and fit to fly by qualified aircraft engineering personnel at each respective airport.
Therefore, the 195 passengers who were travelling on the flight were provided hotel accommodation in Bucharest while the crew rested for the time period required by international regulations.
SriLankan Airlines said the flight will continue on to Colombo as soon as possible. (Colombo Gazette)