An Emirates Airbus A380 had to deviate from the route twice
The passengers on the Emirates EK216 flight from Los Angeles to Dubai toured the world, as their flight had to land several times in both Toronto and London. This is the longest Emirates flight in the world (because the Dubai - Auckland route is currently suspended). The distance of 8.339 miles (13.421 km) is normally operated in 15 hours and 50 minutes. This time, the passengers flew for more than 24 hours.
Emirates' Airbus A380 landed in Toronto.
The aircraft operating flight EK216 took off on September 13 around 17:20 PT from Los Angeles, starting the polar route to Dubai. The flight was operated with an Airbus A380 aircraft, registered A6-EUU, an aircraft a little over five years old.
In northeastern Canada, right next to Hudson Bay, there was reportedly a medical emergency on board, so the flight had to be diverted to the nearest airport. As there are not many airports in northern Canada that can accommodate an Airbus A380, the decision was made to head to Toronto Airport (YYZ) with a major detour.
The flight landed in Toronto around 03:30 local time, after a flight of about seven hours. By comparison, a direct flight between Los Angeles and Toronto would take only four hours, so we're talking about a detour of about three hours just to get to the diversion point.
The A380 then lands in London.
An Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft for a flight of over 8.000 miles is very well equipped, with 4 pilots and about 25 flight attendants, because they are not allowed to exceed the working norm, even if they are in flight. As a result, the crew did not have enough time to fly to Dubai, and the Emirates operations team had to find a way to take the passengers home - a complicated matter, especially with current restrictions.
Not only that, but even if the flight worked, it leaves around 22:00, while the flight arrived in Toronto shortly after 03:00; probably many passengers did not even manage to enter Canada
This doesn't even explain that if there was a flight, it probably wouldn't have had enough seats for all the passengers.
In Instead, the decision was made to operate a flight from Toronto to London. Why? Emirates currently operates four daily flights to Dubai, three of which are operated by Airbus A380 aircraft. With a few hours notice, it is much easier for Emirates to make sure it has a crew available to operate this flight safely.
The "second diversion" of flight EK216 to London.
What happens when passengers arrive in London?
Emirates has decided to cancel the EK4 flight on the evening of September 13, which was to be operated from London to Dubai. The flight was scheduled to depart at 20:40 and arrive in Dubai on Wednesday at 09:35 local time. Instead, the crew that was scheduled to operate flight EK4 will operate flight EK216, allowing a change of crew and a relatively easy transition for passengers. Okay, as smoothly as possible, considering what detour they made.
Flight EK4 became Flight EK216
The Emirates A380 flight from Los Angeles to Dubai had to be diverted twice. First to Toronto due to a medical emergency, which required a huge detour, and meant that the first flight lasted about seven hours. At that time, the crew could no longer fly to Dubai without exceeding the maximum hours of service, so the flight headed to London, where a new crew took over the aircraft and the passengers flew to Dubai.
Emirates has handled this situation exceptionally. Medical emergencies are inconvenient for everyone, especially for the airline, but it happens frequently and you need to know what to do to manage such a situation well and it seems that Emirates has done an extraordinary job in managing this situation, thinking "outside the box ”to find a way to take passengers to Dubai without having to mess with complicated travel restrictions.