Turbulence injures twelve on Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Dublin

File photo.

26th May 2024 – (Dublin) A Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Dublin encountered severe turbulence over Turkey, resulting in injuries to twelve individuals, including both passengers and crew members. The incident, highlighted by the emergency response upon the aircraft’s landing, raises concerns over the increasing frequency of turbulence possibly linked to climate change.

Flight QR017, operated on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, managed to land safely at Dublin Airport shortly before 1 PM local time on Sunday. Upon touchdown, the aircraft was immediately attended by emergency crews, including the airport police and fire and rescue services. The response was triggered by reports from six passengers and an equal number of crew members who suffered injuries during the turbulent phase of their journey.

Dublin Airport authorities confirmed in a statement that the flight experienced unexpected turbulence as it flew over Turkey. They assured that despite the distressing event, the airport’s operations remained unaffected and that all injured parties were receiving appropriate medical care.

Qatar Airways, in a separate statement, acknowledged the incident, affirming that the affected individuals sustained only minor injuries. “A small number of passengers and crew sustained minor injuries in flight and are now receiving medical attention,” the airline stated, adding that “the matter is now subject to an internal investigation.”

The airline emphasised the safety and security of its passengers and crew as its utmost priority, reflecting the growing concern within the aviation industry regarding turbulence and its potential link to climate change.

This turbulence incident on Qatar Airways comes shortly after a tragic event on a Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore. Just five days earlier, that flight encountered severe turbulence, leading to numerous injuries and the death of a British passenger due to a suspected heart attack.

Such events are drawing attention to the broader implications of climate change on flight safety. Reports of turbulence have been on the rise, with meteorologists and aviation experts suggesting that shifting climate patterns may be exacerbating the frequency and intensity of such disturbances.

Paul Williams, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Reading, has contributed to research indicating a troubling trend. “We ran some computer simulations and found that severe turbulence could double or triple in the coming decades,” Williams reported. His findings point particularly to increases in clear air turbulence, a dangerous type that occurs without visual warning signs like clouds or storms, making it particularly challenging to avoid.