Emirates plane damaged in hailstorm over Milan

Storm leaves aircraft windows cracked and fuselage damaged but all passengers safe, says airline

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An Emirates flight had to turn around shortly after take-off in Italy on Tuesday when a hailstorm damaged the plane.

Flight EK205 left Dubai for New York via Milan at 9.51am.

Minutes after take-off in northern Italy, a hailstorm forced the pilots to head back to Malpensa Airport as hailstones battered the aircraft.

No injuries were reported, Emirates said.

Pictures were shared online showing damage to the exterior of the aircraft, including broken windows and punctured metalwork on the fuselage.

In a statement to The National, Emirates said the safety of its passengers and crew was of the utmost importance.

“Emirates flight EK205, scheduled to leave Milan (MXP) for New York (JFK) on 13 July at 14:10 (Milan time), had returned to Milan shortly after take-off due to adverse weather,” the airline said.

“The flight landed without incident in Milan and passengers and crew were safely disembarked.

“All affected passengers were accommodated and rebooked on subsequent services the following day.”

The Boeing 777-300ER circled the airport several times to burn fuel as it was loaded with enough for an eight-hour flight to New York, making it too heavy to land.

Flight-tracking website Flightradar24 said the crew attempted to land but was forced to perform a “go around” before making a successful landing at 6.05pm.

Updated: July 14, 2021, 5:45 PM