While reading one of the reports of flight diversion, I started thinking about how airlines manage aftermath of the diversion especially for long haul transatlantic flights.

Many of the reports say airlines provides a replacement plane. Replacement plane flies to the diversion airport, load up the passengers and continue.

If the original flight is full, what happens to original crew? Working with the assumption that new flight has new flight/cabin crew and there is not enough place for all.

If the airport is at significant distance where the replacement comes from or still has to fly significant distance, it's possible that replacement flight crew might run out of flying time.

Do they provide multiple sets of crews - one to fly to diversion and one to fly to actual destination.

  • $\begingroup$ This is actually a really good question. I've been a pax on transatlantic flights that have been diverted to places like Gander, Canada (pray you're never diverted there...) because of things like an elderly passenger dying mid-flight. My hunch would be that the crew flying the replacement bird would also be in charge of taking the pax to the original final destination. $\endgroup$ – Juan Jimenez Jun 18 at 10:48
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    $\begingroup$ @JuanJimenez It would depend on where the planes have come from and are going. In the case a US-Europe flight being diverted to Gander, if the replacement plane comes from Europe, the crew won't be able to fly Europe-Gander-Europe in a single shift, and I doubt the airline would want another plane sitting on the tarmac for a day while the crew rested. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Jun 18 at 18:49

An empty replacement plane will only have a pilot and copilot, cabin crew are only needed with passengers. With a full new crew there are a few extra jump seats and the company could simply arrange for a slightly larger plane.

Failing all that, the company just purchases some tickets on another flight.

It would be unlikely to send a replacement from a long distance, if they could not find open up one of their fleet in the the local area then they would hire a charter plane that is local. They may also just wait until another regular flight will be in the area.


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