Solar eclipse ringside seats for easyjet passengers in the sky
Easyjet passengers had ringside seats for the full event of the solar eclipse that covered much of Europe in a dark shadow on March 20th, 2015. Those on flights from Belfast, Luton and Manchester to Reykjavik in Iceland were among the very few to see the full event at 37,000 feet.
On land, the total eclipse was only visible from two habitable places on Earth, Norway’s Svalbard archipelago and the Faroe Islands.
On March 20th, easyjet flights EZY 1805 and EZY 2295 departed from Manchester at 07:45, and EZY 6747 left from Belfast at 08:05. They all flew nearly directly over the Faroe Islands at just the right time, giving the passengers unobstructed grandstand views of the amazing phenomenon.
In this radar flight path you can see the pilot circled several times. (Image: Twitter)
One day before the event, easyjet’s Ali Gayward, Commercial Manager for Iceland, said:
“It’s great that easyJet passengers will be in the right place at the right time on Friday and are set to be rewarded the best view anywhere in the world from 37,000 feet.
“We would encourage passengers to bring eclipse viewing specs with them and keep their window blinds open for the safest but most spectacular way to view it.”
Easyjet twittered “Straight from the flight deck onboard Manchester to Reykjavik – Our customers got grandstand tickets for the eclipse!” (Image: Twitter)
The pilot from the Belfast flight took a diversion on the day and circled above the ocean so that passengers could get a good-long view of the solar eclipse.
A picture taken by an easyjet passenger during the eclipse. (Image: Twitter)
Londoners missed much of the spectacle
People in London and much of the south east of England missed being able to see the solar eclipse because of cloudy skies. Many expressed disappointment, saying that the darkness that came was ever-so slight.
The best places to be were the South West, South Wales, the Midlands, parts of the North, and several areas in Scotland.
Faroe Islands and Svalbard
Svalbard viewers cheered as clear skies gave them spectacular views of the 2.5-minute event.
According to The Guardian, Londoner Hilary Castle said:
“I was just blown away. I couldn’t believe it. It was just fabulous, just beautiful and at the same time a bit odd and it was too short.”
Faroe Islands tourists were not so lucky – not only was it cloudy, but there was a cold drizzle making it impossible to see anything. However, everything went completely dark during the solar eclipse.
Video – Faroe Islands eclipse from helicopter
This footage comes from the Faroe Islands Tourist Board.