TUI plane takes off and circles in sky for two hours before turning back to airport

posted on 28th June 2022 by Eddie Saunders
TUI plane takes off and circles in sky for two hours before turning back to airport

By Katie Weston,

A TUI plane was forced to return to Manchester Airport after a “technical issue” yesterday.

The Boeing 767, heading to Cape Verde, was scheduled to depart at 9.25am but was delayed by over an hour.

A ‘Squawk 7700’ emergency was issued shortly after take-off, with the aircraft repeatedly circling over the Peak District before landing at the airport around 1.15pm.

Flight tracking site Flightradar24 showed the emergency call was issued 14 minutes into the flight.

The emergency prompted the plane to circle at an altitude of 7000ft for two and a half hours.

The 7700 alert is a common code that can be used for even the most minor emergency and often as a precautionary measure to alert other air users.

The signal also informs all tracking ground controllers that the aircraft should be given.

Today’s incident follows another TUI plane making an emergency landing at Manchester Airport last Friday.

Passengers were informed an hour into the flight to Turkey that there was a fault with the plane, and could smell fumes onboard.

Molly Charfe, going on holiday with a family of 13, told the Manchester Evening News: “We paid £11 each to be all together on the flight that did manage to take off but some of the children coming with us were made to sit on their own amongst the chaos.

“We were glad to have finally set off but we could all smell fumes straight away. It felt like something had fallen off the plane when we were landing, it was wobbling loads.

“There was no one to tell us where to go when we were finally let off the plane and eventually got to the coach/taxi rank at 11pm. But we were left waiting until 3am before a coach left to take us to a hotel.”

She added: “We’ve all been crying. You can’t complain about what happened to the plane but the communication has been awful.

“They’re not looking out for our welfare at all, it feels like they’re delaying more and more so people will just leave.

“It’s been so traumatic, especially having been on a plane which had to emergency land.”

Many holidaymakers have suffered long delays or cancelled flights in recent months, with the chaos affecting the recent half-term getaway over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend.

The boss of budget airline Ryanair warned travellers last week that flight delays and cancellations will continue “right throughout the summer” as airports suffer amid staff shortages.

Heathrow and Gatwick have also struggled to cope with the surge in demand, with staff shortages leading to flights being cancelled, baggage handling problems and mammoth check-in queues.

Heathrow asked airlines on Monday to cut 10% of flights at two terminals in a move affecting about 5,000 passengers at Terminals 2 and 3 on about 30 flights.

A spokesman for Manchester Airport said they are aware of a flight that decided to return.

TUI said in a statement: “We can confirm flight TOM216 to Boa Vista, Cape Verde, has returned to Manchester Airport this afternoon due to a technical issue. The aircraft landed at 13:12 and all passengers and crew were disembarked safely.

“The safety of our customers and crew is always our highest priority and we’d like to reassure customers that the decision to return to Manchester was taken as a precautionary measure.

“Due to landing restrictions at Boa Vista Airport, this flight is unable to depart today and our teams are currently working through a new flight plan.

“We’ll be contacting customers directly to let them know of their new departure time as soon as we can, and offering them overnight accommodation, meals and transport to and from the airport if needed.

“We’d like to apologise to all customers onboard for the inconvenience and thank them for their patience and understanding at this time.”