An erupting volcano in Mexico forced KLM passengers to take an 11-hour flight from Amsterdam to ... Amsterdam

KLMFlight tracking website FlightRadar24's data shows how the KLM flight made it all the way to Canada before it turned around and went back to Amsterdam.FlightRadar24/Business Insider

  • Passengers on board a KLM flight on Thursday ended up taking an 11-hour-long journey from Amsterdam back to Amsterdam.
  • They were supposed to travel to Mexico, but a volcanic eruption in the country meant that the crew realised that they couldn't get to their destination.
  • The plane was already over Canada when the crew realised, resulting in an 11-hour round trip over the Atlantic and back again.
  • The Dutch airline told 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."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

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 KL 685 took off from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and had made it all the way to eastern Canada when the crew realized that a volcanic erruption in Mexico, the plane's destination, meant that the flight wouldn't be able to land.

The flight then turned right back around and headed back to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, landing at 2.30 a.m. - 11 hours later.

The Dutch airline told 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."

KLM Boeing 747Flickr/Franklin Heijnen

The flight was over New Brunswick in Canada - around 5.5 hours into the flight - when the crew turned around, The Independent reported.

The spokesperson said that the flight, which was operated on a Boeing 747, returned because of a "volcanic eruption in Mexico."

They said when the plane returned to Amsterdam, "passengers disembarked normally and have been taken care of in Amsterdam."

"They will be rebooked on an alternative flight," KLM said.

Planes look to avoid flying through any volcanic ash because it can cause poor visibility for pilots, and can ruin planes' engines, putting the plane and those on board in danger. Planes' engines have failed mid-flight because of the ash.

A 2010 volcanic erruption in Iceland forced airlines in many European countries to ground their flights for a week - the largest shut down of air traffic since WWII.

More than than 95,000 flights were then cancelled and tens of thousands of people were trapped abroad.

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