Avianca 787 Madrid-Medellin: Emergency in Ponta Delgada

By James Field - Editor in Chief 3 Min Read
3 Min Read
Avianca 787 Madrid-Medellin: Emergency in Ponta Delgada
Photo Credit: Oliver Holzbauer via Wikimedia Commons.

In the last few moments, an Avianca Boeing 787 operating a flight between Madrid and Medellin has declared an emergency & diverted to Ponta Delgada.

This is the sixth incident noted in just one day including commercial flights around the world.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

AV17 – Madrid to Medellin – Ponta Delgada Diversion…

Avianca 787 Madrid-Medellin: Emergency in Ponta Delgada
Data provided by
Avianca 787 Madrid-Medellin: Emergency in Ponta Delgada
Alan Wilson from Stilton, Peterborough, Cambs, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Avianca flight AV17 is a routine scheduled flight between Madrid and Medellin.

The aircraft involved in the emergency and diversion to Ponta Delgada was N794AV.

As per data from, N794AV is a 7.1 year old Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

It was delivered to the airline back in March 2017.

Furthermore, of the 787-8 variant, Avianca has 14 of them, of which 12 are in active service and two are parked.

Average fleet age is 8.2 years for this.

Avianca flight AV17 departed Madrid at 1532 local time this afternoon and proceeded out towards Medellin.

Upon passing Ponta Delgada initially, the aircraft made a u-turn and a series of turns in an uncontrolled manner.

Furthermore, upon reaching 4,500 feet, the aircraft declared an emergency just before it’s approach.

N794AV has appeared to have landed safely into the Portuguese airport at around 1837 local time.

Reason Yet to be Determined…

Anna Zvereva, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

At the moment, the cause of the emergency onboard Avianca flight AV17 between Madrid and Medellin is yet to be determined.

Furthermore, if it is a medical-related emergency, then the aircraft will leave Ponta Delgada later today and continue onwards.

But for now, the cause of the emergency is unclear, and as soon as we have more information on this, we will update the article accordingly.

This remains a developing story.

UPDATE #1 @ 2002 UK time – @FlightEmergency on X confirms that AV17 diverted to Ponta Delgada due to a medical emergency.

UPDATE #2 @ 2247 UK time – Avianca approached AviationSource with the following comment on the incident:

“During flight AV17, which covered the Madrid—Medellín route, one of the passengers required medical attention, so the captain decided to divert to the Joao Paulo II Airport, which serves the city of Ponta Delgada.”

“The airport’s medical services were attentive to the flight’s arrival, which landed at 5:42 p.m. local time. The passenger disembarked and was subsequently examined by the airport health team.”

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By James Field Editor in Chief
James is a passionate AvGeek based in Manchester, U.K, who has been actively spotting for years. He is the Editor in Chief for AviationSource News.