This morning (23 May), a Eurowings Airbus A320 (registered D-AEWJ) operated flight EW9844 between Dusseldorf, Germany and Olbia, Sardinia, Italy. The aircraft, however, had to turn all the way back to Germany as it didn’t get the permission to land at the Italian airport.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reveals that – with the start of phase two of the coronavirus emergency handling – the Italian Ministry for Infrastructure and Transport reopened the airport for commercial air travel to the island but a few hours later the region decided to withdraw that decision. The closure of the airport was also communicated in a NOTAM (NOtice To AirMen) (see below).
Unaware of the situation, the Eurowings aircraft departed early Saturday morning. According to Flightradar24 data, the aircraft entered a holding pattern northeast of the island. Forty minutes into the holding, the aircraft headed back north and landed at Dusseldorf airport four hours after its initial take-off from the German airport.
The subsequent return flight between Olbia and Dusseldorf was cancelled.
Part of the NOTAM (source: RocketRoute)
Q) LIRR/QFALT/IV/NBO /A /000/999/4053N00931E
B) 20/05/21 15:14 C) 20/06/02 22:00
E) COVID-19. AERODROME CLOSED TO COMMERCIAL AVIATION TRAFFIC IN COMPLIANCE WITH REGIONE SARDEGNA DECREE 23 OF 17TH MAY 2020. RMK: GENERAL AVIATION ACTIVITY AND COMMERCIAL AVIATION ACTIVITY ON DEMAND (AEROTAXI) WITH AIRCRAFT HAVING MAXIMUM CABIN CONFIGURATION EQUAL OR LESS THAN 19 SEATS ARE APPROVED IN COMPLIANCE WITH MINISTRY OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORTATION DECREE 207/2020 AND REGIONE SARDEGNA DECREE 23 OF 17TH MAY 2020. REF AIP AD 2 LIEO 1-1