Eurowings Flight EW9844 forced to turn back after flying to closed airport

There are some red faces at a European low-cost carrier after one of its planes had to turn around mid-flight as the airport it was travelling to wasn't even open.

Eurowings Flight EW9844 had set off from Düsseldorf in Germany to the Sardinian airport of Olbia.

But with 90 minutes left until landing, the pilot was informed that the airport was, in fact, closed to commercial traffic due to coronavirus restrictions.

The Airbus A320 circled for a while, and there were options to land at other airports, however, the decision was made to fly back to Germany - a four hour, ten-minute flight ending right back at the start.


Eurowings Flight EW9844's tour of Europe.

It didn't actually affect too many passengers, as there were only two on board.

The reason for the mess up seems to be a communication error. On May 17, Italy's Ministry of Infrastructure and Transportation reopened the airport, but then that was overruled by a regional body, reports the One Mile at a Time blog.

Eurowings told CNN Travel: "The large amount of information provided on operating hours or airport closures are often changed at short notice."

Olbia Airport is due to reopen on June 2, and the two passengers have been rebooked on new flights.


Eurowings is Lufthansa's budget airline and flies to 79 destinations. It was formed on February 1, 1993 following the merger of two local German airlines.

Lufthansa recently gained approval for a €9 billion-euro "stabilisation package" from a German government support fund to keep the company going through the turbulence from the coronavirus outbreak.

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