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File image of an Aer Lingus passenger plane. Alamy Stock Photo
Plane Drama

Plane from Dublin to Canary Islands forced to make unscheduled stop due to unruly passenger

Spanish police confirmed two Irish nationals left the plane voluntarily and were ‘reported for an administrative breach of air safety’.

A PACKED HOLIDAY jet heading from Ireland to the Canary Islands was forced to make an unscheduled stop because of unruly passenger.

The Aer Lingus plane re-routed on its way from Dublin to Gran Canaria so the problem passengers could be handed over to police at Santiago-Rosalia de Castro airport in Galicia.

Spanish air traffic controllers confirmed the plane had landed successfully before continuing its journey southwards.

Spanish police today confirmed two Irish nationals had left the plane after they were called to attend the flight when it made an unscheduled landing at the airport in Santiago.

A spokesman for the Civil Guard said: “I can confirm officers were asked to head for an Aer Lingus plane on Saturday after it touched down at Santiago-Rosalia de Castro Airport.

“Two people who were both Irish nationals left the plane voluntarily and were reported for an administrative breach of air safety after being fully identified.”

A source described the two Irish nationals as a “couple.”

Their ages have not been released.

Aer Lingus has been approached but has so far failed to respond to a request for a comment and more information.

The incident happened on Saturday evening on an Aer Lingus flight, which reached its final destination just over an hour late.

Spanish air traffic controllers tweeted: “The crew of a flight between Dublin and Gran Canaria tell us they have a problem with a problem passenger on board and need to divert to Santiago.

“We have facilitated descent and airport approach manoeuvres while a police presence on arrival is coordinated.

“The plane landed without incident.”

Standard procedure, unless officers witness a crime being committed, usually revolves around a formal identification of the persons signalled as the cause of problems and taken off a plane so they can be handed a fine.

The Spanish Air Safety and Security Agency (AESA) is the state body that in Spain ensures civil aviation standards are observed in all aeronautical activity in Spain.

It has powers to fine offenders for breaches of a Spanish air safety law, with fines for the standard type of breach ranging from around €58 to nearly €47,000.

They can also be hit with the cost of any diversion and face a flying ban with the airline.

Last Friday, a 42-year-old British holidaymaker was arrested at Ibiza Airport on suspicion of sexually assaulting an air stewardess before spitting on her boss on a Jet2 flight from Manchester.

The airline said after news of the arrest was confirmed by police that it was banning the traveller for life.

In January 2018, a ‘drunk’ Irish woman and her partner were filmed being escorted off a Ryanair plane forced to make an unscheduled stop in the northern Spanish port city of Santander en route from Alicante to Dublin.

Other passengers clapped and shouted out ‘Adios’ as the couple were led away by police.