• Scandinavian Airlines' Bombardier aircraft, EI-FPS, experienced three consecutive flight diversions in a single day, which is highly unusual.
  • The aircraft operates short-hop flights primarily from Oslo to various destinations, and it is also frequently used at other Scandinavian airports.
  • The reasons behind the back-to-back diversions remain unknown, but potential factors could include meteorological conditions or aircraft problems. SAS has not yet provided an official response.

While flight diversions are a common occurrence, it's relatively unusual to hear of an aircraft having to divert thrice in a single day when operating three different flights. This happened to one Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) Bombardier CRJ-900LR yesterday when the aircraft operated three flights from Oslo, only to divert back shortly into each flight.

The unlucky CRJ

This specific aircraft is registered EI-FPS, delivered to SAS in 2017 with a cabin configuration for 90 passengers. Christened as Sifka Viking, the aircraft is operated by Irish regional carrier CityJet on daily short-hop flights primarily from Oslo Gardermoen Airport to Stavanger, Bergen, Molde, and Alesund, to name a few.

The aircraft is also often operated from other Scandinavian airports like Skelleftea Airport, Stockholm Arlanda Airport, and Trondheim Vaernes Airport to various destinations like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Venice, Milan, and Zurich, to name a few.

Photo: Kevin Hackert | Shutterstock

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Back-to-back diversions

On August 8th, EI-FPS began the day's work from Alesund Vigra Airport, operating as SK 1313 to Oslo Airport. The aircraft took off routinely at approximately 06:27 before arriving in Oslo at around 07:13. Then, from Oslo, the aircraft was scheduled to operate as SK 4009 to Stavanger Sola Airport and departed at around 08:04.

And this is where the aircraft's luck began to turn. Despite having made the flight journey almost to Stavanger, the aircraft remained in a holding pattern at around 5,500 feet before descending and seemingly preparing to land at the intended destination. But at about 1,100 feet, the aircraft regained altitude and returned to Oslo.

Screenshot 2023-08-09 at 6.38.36 PM

Upon returning to Oslo, EI-FPS operated a different outbound leg as SK 263 to Bergen Flesland Airport. The aircraft took off at 12:03 and similarly made a safe journey, nearing the destination and descending to about 900 feet, only to regain altitude before making the diversion back to Oslo yet again.

Third time's not the charm

Suppose two back-to-back diversions weren't enough; a third was soon on the way as EI-FPS operated what would have been its fourth flight of the day as SK 4518 to Molde Aro Airport. The aircraft took off at 15:35 and nearly reached its intended destination, having already descended to about 2,050 feet before regaining altitude and diverting back to Oslo.

Screenshot 2023-08-09 at 6.39.56 PM

Only the fourth time was the charm for EI-FPS after the aircraft operated its fifth and final flight of the day as SK 1313, taking off from Oslo at around 22:15 and landing successfully at Alesund Airport at around 22:56, without any diversions.

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Possible reasons why

At the time of writing, SAS has yet to respond to our queries about why the three back-to-back diversions occurred. While meteorological conditions could be a possible factor, given how weather forecasts at the three airports indicated rain and strong winds, a quick peek at the three airport's arrival statistics would show that only EI-FPS diverted back to the origin.

In contrast, other flights successfully landed before and after the aircraft. Then perhaps, the diversions were due to an aircraft problem, but the fact it could land at Oslo without issue suggests maybe not. Whatever the reason, hopefully any affected passengers were properly taken care of; EI-FPS remains flying well today without problems.

What do you think could have happened to cause the back-to-back diversions? Let us know in the comments below.

  • SAS A350
    Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier
    Copenhagen Airport, Oslo Gardermoen Airport, Stockholm Arlanda Airport
    Year Founded:
    Star Alliance
    Airline Group:
    SAS Group
    Anko van der Werff
  • d95b2995-e5e4-4886-a565-ad70fb2aaf47
    Oslo Gardermoen Airport
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    Abraham Foss
    Passenger Count :
    9,021,729 (2020)
    Runways :
    01L/19R - 3,600m (11,811ft) |01R/19L - 2,950m (9,678ft)