The view of an empty runway at Malaga Airport this Thursday evening. Salvador Salas
Storm blows up at Malaga Airport forcing 37 flights to be diverted to other parts of Spain

Storm blows up at Malaga Airport forcing 37 flights to be diverted to other parts of Spain

A strong crosswind at the Costa del Sol airfield this Thursday evening prevented aircraft from landing for two hours and they were forced to divert to other airports on the Spanish mainland instead

Ignacio Lillo


Thursday, 19 October 2023


It has been a very complicated evening at Malaga Airport this evening, where many of the scheduled flights due to arrive have been hit by the strong winds battering the province, with crosswinds and gusts of up to 50 knots.

For two hours conditions were so bad that the runways were closed to arrivals and no aircraft could land at the Costa del Sol airfield, which meant that at least 37 flights had to be diverted, according to sources in the control tower. The alternative destinations included Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Granada, Almeria, Alicante and Jerez.

By 9.30pm the restrictions were lifted, but then the problems shifted to the departure terminals, where thousands of passengers were waiting for flights out on aircraft that had been diverted elseswhere. As a result, many passengers have been forced to spend the night at a hotel in Malaga or on the Costa del Sol, hoping to travel tomorrow.

Other pilots made up to two unsuccessful sorties, and managed to land at the third attempt in Malaga. The winds were still causing problems at 8pm, although it was expected that it would soon turn and blow from inland and the situation would normalise. Take-offs were not affected by the inclement weather.

The roles are reversed

During the morning, the situation was reversed and bad weather in the western part of the Iberian Peninsula forced three flights to be diverted to the Costa del Sol airport, due to problems landing at their scheduled destinations.

Two aircraft (one easyJet and the other British Airways) were re-routed from Gibraltar, coming from London's Gatwick and Heathrow airports, according to information from Malaga control tower and the airport on the Rock.

However, the most striking arrival was that of a United Airlines flight from Washington in the United States to Lisbon (Portugal), which finally landed in Malaga at around 12 noon today due to the strong winds and storms that were affecting the Portuguese capital at the time.

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