German airline resumes flights to Sardinia… but has to turn around

German airline resumes flights to Sardinia… but has to turn around and fly straight back because the airport is still CLOSED

  • Eurowings flight made 730 mile journey from Dusseldorf to Olbia on Saturday
  • But authorities on Sardinia told pilots they weren’t open for commercial traffic
  • German budget airline considered going to Cagliari before heading for home 
  • The two passengers on the airbus A320 were at least able to socially distance 

A German budget airline tried to resume flights to Sardinia over the weekend only to find its plane had to fly straight back because the airport was still closed.

Eurowings flight EW9844 took off from Dusseldorf on Saturday and made the 730 mile journey to Olbia Airport. 

But as the A320 arrived in Sardinian airspace, officials told the pilots that Olbia wasn’t open for commercial traffic.

The plane, which was carrying just two passengers, considered rerouting to Cagliari 120 miles to the south of the Italian island, before it decided to head back to Germany.

Eurowings flight EW9844 took off from Dusseldorf on Saturday and made the 730 mile journey to Olbia Airport. But it had to go all the way back after Sardinian authorities denied it permission to land. The total time for the trip was just over four hours 

The total flight time for the passengers – who were at least able to practice social distancing aboard the Airbus – was just over four hours.

A Eurowings spokesman told CNN Travel: ‘Against the background of the corona crisis, the situation at numerous airports in Europe is very dynamic.

‘The large amount of information provided on operating hours or airport closures are often changed at short notice,’ the spokesman added, and there are ‘daily changes in entry regulations in the various countries.’

Travel blog One Mile at a Time speculates that the confusion arose because Italy’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation reopened the airport on May 17, but had since been overruled by the local authority.

Olbia Airport will remain closed until at least June 2.

Meanwhile Eurowings said the passengers have been able to re-book. 

Airlines are desperate to get back to work and have been urging governments around the world not to impose stringent quarantine conditions on travellers.

Ryanair’s boss Michael O’Leary has said the UK government’s 14-day quarantine period for those arriving in the UK is not based on any evidence. 

The UK is to impose its two week requirement for anyone arriving in the country from June 8, but the rules will be reviewed every three weeks. 

Mr O’Leary – who has been running a skeleton daily schedule of 30 flights throughout Europe – said last week the government was ‘making stuff up as they go along.’ 

Ryanair has said it will start operating more flights from July 1, meanwhile EasyJet has announced it will resume flights from June 15.  

British Airways is due to launch ‘a meaningful return to service in July’, while Jet2.com is to resume its flight programme at the beginning of that month.  

Health Secretary Matt Hancock previously warned that foreign holidays for UK residents are unlikely this summer.

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