So my transatlantic flight needs to stop somewhere: Greenland or Iceland?

I have a friend (seriously!) who as a teen (@1978) was on a transatlantic flight. Apparently there was some kind of trouble on board, so the plane needed an emergency landing before arriving in Paris.

What she’s not so sure about (three decades later) is whether the temporary landing spot was in Greenland or Iceland. On one hand, an airport in Greenland would have been closer, but Reykjavik wouldn’t have been much farther, and would seem like a more reliable place.

So. . .

Which would have been a more likely landing spot?

Obviously, there’s no way to tell for sure this many years later. But most likely it would either have been Reykjavik, Iceland, or Gander, Newfoundland. Both are pretty important airports close to the major transatlantic routes, and receive lots of emergency landings.


Another possibility is an airport on the west coast of Ireland, e.g., Shannon.