Storm Isha forces Dublin-bound flight to divert 800km to Paris

Flights across the UK delayed a day after winds reached 160kph

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A flight from Manchester to Dublin was forced into an 800km diversion to Paris as Storm Isha prevented it from landing.

The Ryanair plane took off at about 3pm on Sunday for a scheduled 30-minute journey but on approach to Dublin circled over the Irish Sea several times before aborting the landing, eventually touching down in the French capital at 5.30pm.

Another Manchester to Dublin flight landed in Liverpool after spending more than three hours in the air and making several aborted attempts to reach the Irish capital.

But among the most lengthy diversions was a flight from London Stansted to Newquay which was diverted to Malaga.

They were among dozens of flights disrupted by the storm, which was accompanied by gusts of 144kph. In Grangemouth, Scotland, an 84-year-old man died after the car he was a passenger in crashed into a fallen tree late on Sunday night, said Police Scotland.

The travel chaos continued into Monday with train services disrupted and airports still affected.

Across the North Sea, about 130 flights were cancelled at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam as a preventive measure as winds exceeded 100kph on Monday in the Netherlands.

Disruption also continued in Edinburgh and Glasgow after dozens of flights were cancelled on Sunday.

But flight schedules had largely returned to normal in the south-east of England.

A spokesman for London Gatwick Airport on Monday told The National most flights were running as scheduled but there may be delays to some as a knock-on effect from the previous day’s weather.

"We would advise passengers to check with their airline," he said.

Scotland worst hit

Scotland was worst hit with strong winds that led to the cancellation of all trains.

ScotRail suspended services at 7pm on Sunday and said there would be no rush-hour services on Monday morning.

The company said each route will have to undergo a safety inspection on Monday, meaning it will be later on before any trains can run.

A flight travelling from Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt to Glasgow Airport declared an emergency due to the storm.

A representative for Glasgow Airport said the TUI flight was “diverted to Manchester due to ... weather conditions”.

“This is happening across many UK airports due to Storm Isha," the representative added.

Flights from London Heathrow Airport were delayed by an average of 40 minutes on Sunday, with 68 per cent of its scheduled departures taking off later than scheduled and 10 per cent cancelled.

Trains in some parts of southern England were affected including services between London and Gatwick Airport.

Gatwick reported an average delay of 38 minutes, with 56 per cent of departures delayed and 3 per cent cancelled.

The Met Office said the highest recorded wind speed during Storm Isha was 159kph at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland, with gusts of 144kph at Capel Curig in Snowdonia on Sunday.

A rare red warning for wind in north-eastern Scotland was in place until 5am on Monday, with amber warnings covering much of the UK until 6am and alerts covering the entire country until noon.

Warnings for wind for Scotland, Northern Ireland, north Wales and northern England is active from 4pm on Tuesday until noon on Wednesday.

The Met Office said "everybody" would be affected by the storm.

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks said 45,000 customers were without power on Monday, while Electricity North West said thousands of properties in north-western England had lost their supply.

Widespread power cuts in Ireland were affecting more than 170,000 properties.

Elevated wind-power generation put pressure on natural gas prices across the UK and the continent, with benchmark futures dropping as much as 5.7 per cent early Monday, their lowest since July.

In the UK, wind power made up 53 per cent of the nation’s energy mix, according to data from National Grid on Bloomberg.

Intraday power prices in Germany fell below zero for several hours on Monday morning, dropping as low as minus 14.88 a megawatt-hour on Epex Spot SE.

Germany remained on course for record wind power output later on Monday. Production from thousands of turbines in the nation is set to peak at 53,466 megawatts at noon Berlin time, according to a Bloomberg model.

The current record of 53,022 megawatts was reached shortly before Christmas.

Nordic wind power output hit the highest level since November. Weather warnings were issued by Sweden’s national forecaster SMHI for strong winds and heavy rain.

Updated: January 22, 2024, 11:33 AM