Driving home from work yesterday, I saw a plane on approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport that looked to be significantly larger than the 737s, A320s, Embraer 190s, and Dash-8s that I usually see living under the approach to runway 23.
I couldn’t make out its markings, as it was still a few thousand feet in the air, so I cranked up FlightAware and FlightRadar.
A bad line of thunderstorms was right over Toronto’s Pearson Airport, and I could see many flights were circling on all sides, waiting for the weather to clear. Presumably, this Etihad flight was low enough on fuel after an almost 14 hour flight that it was forced to divert to Buffalo. Etihad is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates.
I wondered how they would handle that – would they fly them on to Buffalo when the plane was fueled and the weather cleared, or would the passengers be given some sort of transit visa and a bus to Toronto?
I got my answer a little later that evening. They flew a 20 minute flight from Buffalo to Pearson, arriving about 2 1/2 hours later than usual.
Photo of the Etihad 777 courtesy @my2girls10 on Twitter.