U.S. aircraft heading to Greenland grounded in Iqaluit, says premier

A commercial, freighter aircraft headed toward Thule, Greenland, has been diverted to Iqaluit, according to a statement from Nunavut’s premier Thursday.

The U.S.-registered aircraft was unable to land and was diverted, states the news release attributed to Premier Joe Savikataaq.

It’s not immediately clear why the flight was diverted. Greenland’s borders have been closed to non-Danish citizens without a “recognized purpose” since March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were five crew members on board, said Savikataaq.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers and Nunavut airport officials met the crew, and cleared them because they showed no symptoms and their temperatures were normal, said Savikataaq.

The territorial government’s chief public health officer was immediately notified, said Savikataaq.

The crew will be taken to a local hotel using personal protective equipment and “enhanced safety procedures,” states the news release.

They will then be confined to their rooms with security for their stay in Iqaluit. 

“There will be no interaction between crew members and members of the public,” states Savikataaq.

He said updates will be provided as they become available.

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