THE COMPANY WHICH deals with ground handling at Stansted Airport has said it accepts it should have unloaded passengers from a delayed Ryanair flight sooner.
Earlier today, a video emerged of a flight last week that claims to show passengers having to stay on the delayed Ryanair flight for over three hours.
The video also shows passengers claiming they called the police to help intervene.
This evening, Swissport, which was the handling agent, released a statement about the incident.
It said that the weather on 14 February caused “travel chaos”.
Stansted Airport, said Swissport, “was one of the few airports around the country that was able to accept some diverted flights despite some reservations regarding the availability of turn-around facilities”.
Due to extreme weather the inbound flight from Porto was initially diverted to East Midlands and arrived some three hours later at Stansted to collect the passengers for the flight to Porto. Swissport and the airport were under considerable pressure with 30 additional diverted flights in addition to scheduled aircraft.
Of the flight in question, it said that though the flight was loaded, fueling was not available, and this caused the delay.
Swissport staff were under extreme pressure dealing with an unprecedented level of flights and whilst we accept we should have unloaded the passengers sooner we simply had no one available to unload when contacted by the Captain.
Swissport regret any delay to passengers and to Ryanair. However, in extreme circumstances, our staff worked tirelessly to ensure that diverted flights were dealt with as soon as possible.
We are disappointed that even under these extreme conditions we fell short of our usual high standards
This afternoon, Ryanair said that some of the claims in the video were untrue. The Irish airline said that the Captain of the plane called the police and also switched on the air conditioning.
It also said that the claim passengers were held by Ryanair against their will is also false, as the captain made every effort to arrange for passengers to be allowed into the terminal which was locked.