An Emirates A380-800 aircraft from Dubai landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and is being held away from the terminal under quarantine after about 100 passengers on board reported feeling sick.
The aircraft, which landed with at least 521 passengers onboard shortly after 9 a.m, was met on arrival by the Centers for Disease Control and Port Authority Police.
According to the CDC, approximately 100 passengers, including some crew on the flight, complained of illness including coughing and some with fever.
CDC public health officers are working with the port authority, EMS, and CBP officials to evaluate passengers including taking temperatures and making arrangements for transport to local hospitals for those that need care. Passengers who are not ill will be allowed to continue with their travel plans, and if necessary will be followed up with by health officials.
Benjamin Haynes, CDC Senior Press Officer, added: “We will have more information as passengers and crew members are evaluated.”
When asked by the Aviation Tribune, an Emirates spokesperson said:
“Emirates can confirm that all passengers have disembarked from flight EK 203. All passengers were screened by the local health authorities prior to disembarkation and 3 passengers and 7 crew were transferred to the hospital for further medical care and evaluation. Nine passengers underwent additional medical screening at the site near the aircraft and were released afterward. The rest of the passengers were allowed to leave and clear customs. Our crew and ground staff extended our full cooperation with the authorities during the onboard screenings and the aircraft has now been handed back to Emirates.
“Due to the delay with the inbound flight, the return flight EK204 from JFK to Dubai will be delayed by approximately 3 hours. Passengers with connecting flights in Dubai who are impacted by the delay will be assisted with rebookings by our local ground staff.
“We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience caused. The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew is always our top priority.”
CDC public health officers, working with port authority, NYC, NYS, EMS, and CBP officials, have completed health evaluations (including taking temperatures) of all 549 passengers and crew members on board.
11 individuals have been taken to a local hospital for care and the remaining passengers have been released. We are requesting the passengers who have been evaluated and released to call their provider and health department if they develop any symptoms, and to give their travel history and report of incident. They may receive a follow-up call from their health department just as a check-in.