Ed Sheeran’s private jet diverted to Norwich airport after Stansted shutdown
PUBLISHED: 15:27 02 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:54 03 March 2019
Norwich welcomed an unexpected guest last night (Friday) as superstar Ed Sheeran’s private jet was diverted to the city because flights were grounded at Stansted airport.
Staff who work for SaxonAir at Norwich International Airport were told to get to the airport at 9pm because a business jet had been diverted because of the closure of the runway at Stansted.
And, to their surprise, the musician behind hits such as Thinking Of You, The A Team and Castle On The Hill, was on the plane which arrived at the airport.
Jordan Smith, helicopter sales and operations officer at SaxonAir, took to Facebook to post a selfie which the Suffolk singer songwriter took of him with fellow Saxonair staff James Tortice and John Dewing.
Mr Smith said: “So, a runway closure in Stansted results in the three of us scrambling to work at 2100 (me in my shorts and a hoody) to meet a diverting business jet. You would never guess who was on it...”
He added: “He was so down to earth, just up for a chat, kept saying how grateful he was we came in haha!”
And the SaxonAir staff were not the only ones to have a surprise Friday night brush with fame.
Prince of Wales Road based taxi firm Courtesy Taxis got a call to pick up the chart-topper from the airport. Driver Ricky Little could not resist the chance to get a snap of himself with the 28-year-old/
The incident at Stansted Airport involved a Vienna-bound Laudamotion aircraft, which suffered suspected engine problems on the runway.
Eight people were injured after the flight was abandoned as what passengers described as a “big bang” which rocked the cabin.
All flights were grounded for around three hours on Friday after the incident at 8pm.
Passenger Thomas Steer said after around 15 seconds of acceleration there was a “big bang on the side of the aircraft which skidded to a stop”.
The estate agent, 24, from Essex, said: “It was scary. And then staff shouting ‘evacuate evacuate’.
“My friend opened the emergency exit and we slid down the slides, a few old people fell over and the fire brigade treated them.
“No-one was seriously injured, just minor things.”
An airport spokesman said it had received reports that eight people suffered minor injuries in the incident.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said it was sending a team to investigate
Shortly before 11pm, Stansted tweeted “Our runway has now re-opened and is fully operational.
“We are extremely sorry for the disruption caused by the incident but our first priority is always the safety of the passengers and staff.”
Images posted to social media by delayed passengers showed several people standing on grass by the runway as emergency service crews and flashing lights surrounded the plane.
Flights to Stansted were diverted to other airports during the disruption.
Airline Laudamotion tweeted: “The crew of OE flight from Stansted to Vienna (1.3.) decided to abort the take off due to engine issues and to disembark the passengers on the runway as a precautionary measure.
“Passengers were transferred to the terminal by bus and will be reaccommodated onto a replacement flight.”