Plane Evacuating HAL Passengers Re-Routed: Turkey Denies Landing Permission

   February 21, 2020 ,   Accidents

A Turkish airliner chartered by Holland America Line to evacuate cruise passengers from MS Westerdam was turned around mid-flight on Thursday, February 20, due to Coronavirus concerns. The flight was carrying a total of 268 passengers (citizens of multiple countries) when it was forced to land in Karachi Pakistan, instead of Istanbul Turkey (its original destination).

ms Westerdam cruise ship

Holland America Line confirmed the accident, saying that the flight "was unexpectedly instructed by Turkish officials to turn around midway through its journey," even though travellers on board had been cleared by Cambodia's Ministry of Health with a letter approved by the WHO (World Health Organization) and the US CDC office in Cambodia, where the liner had been docked.

For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.