It’s been a busy week at Gran Canaria airport (LPA), which started last Saturday with the website publishing a picture on twitter of “Europe going on vacation to The Canary Islands” showing multiple inbound flights headed for our subtropical archipelago.

In fact 12,977 flights were scheduled around this holiday period, for just the first 10 days of April, 7,364 are domestic flights, from within Spain, and 5,613 are international. Canary Islands airports this Saturday alone are expecting a total of 1,417 flights, the highest daily figure throughout this Easter Week, when, according to Spanish Airport Authority, AENA, flight-forecast data, 5,900 flights are expected to and from the islands between Thursday, April 6, and Monday, April 10, that is 6.49% more than we saw in 2019, the year before the pandemic.

Of the total number of flights that AENA plans to operate over these five days, 3,328 are national (from another Spanish airport), while 2,572 are international.

This will be the busiest weekend for flights departing and arriving throughout the whole Easter holidays.

Air Traffic Controllers have been extra busy this week

A Ryanair plane last Wednesday, heading for Madrid from Gran Canaria, had to abort takeoff on the runway because one of the doors was not properly shut, according to air traffic controllers through their Twitter account (@controladores).

The incident occurred at 4:34 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon as the Boeing 737 aircraft, travelling the FR 2012 route, began taxiing for take-off, but the pilot quickly had to abort due to a warning that a door was not closed properly. The plane returned to the passenger terminal and, eventually, took off for the Spanish capital three hours late. Another Ryanair flight, travelling from #Murcia to Manchester on Thursday, had to divert after take-off following reports warning, once again, of a door not closed properly. After carrying out checks, the flight was diverted to Alicante airport, landing without incident. Also on Thursday, back here on the islands, a flight from Peru, heading to Madrid, had to be diverted to Gran Canaria due to passenger suffering a serious medical problem after a doctor on board advised transfer to hospital as soon as possible. The unscheduled descent was facilitated by controllers at LPA and the manoeuvre made as quickly as possible, while medical care was coordinated on the ground. This Friday too a flight from Santiago de Chile, headed also to Madrid, had to be suddenly diverted to Gran Canaria after a passenger suffered medical problems on board (a possible heart attack). Priority descent was authorised and an “impressive” 360º approach manoeuvre carried out to land at Gran Canaria LPA’s runway 03L, while once again medical care was coordinated on the ground. The priority landing was praised by the Air Controllers twitter account for “Excellent work by the crew, with an impressive descent”, explaining that a flight from Denmark, on final approach, had had to be placed in a holding pattern, while maintaining as much speed as possible, to allow the Santiago flight to descend quickly, at a rate of 6,528ft per minute, to land on Gran Canaria, before the Copenhagen flight was then allowed to land a touch later than scheduled.