Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-300 lands at Athens International Airport AIA, LGAV / ATH Eleftherios Venizelos, with registration N806NW, a former Northwest Airlines aircraft.
Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images
A swarm of cicadas landed a charter plane in the White House late Tuesday, delaying dozens of journalists who were to travel to Europe ahead of President Joe Biden̵
The chartered Delta Air Lines Airbus 330-300 was set to take off around 1 p.m. 21 from Washington Dulles International Airport before the horde arrived, marking the latest disruption from the billions of Brood X cicadas that occurred this year after 17 years underground.
Delta said the flight was delayed because the auxiliary engine unit, or APU, which supplies electrical power to the cabin and other built-in systems, went out of service.
“It was about the presence of periodic cicadas within the APU, which made it impossible,” Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant said in a statement. “Delta teams sent replaced Airbus A330 aircraft and crew to Washington-Dulles International Airport to operate the flight.”
This power unit must be fully functional for transoceanic flight.
The new Delta Charter left Dulles for Cornwall Airport Newquay in the UK around 1 p.m. 3.30 ET, Delta said.
“We apologize to our charter customers for this rarest entomological delay, but still nothing is more important than safety,” Durrant said.
Magicicada periodic cicadas, members of Brood X, cling to a plant in Fairland Recreational Park June 01, 2021 in Burtonsville, Maryland.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images