An EasyJet flight was forced to make an emergency landing in a remote Portuguese island on the afternoon of 24 May 2016. The flight EZY8704 took off from the holiday island of Tenerife and was scheduled to land in Gatwick. It was reported that the emergency landing was executed after captain of the airplane reportedly smelt something burning in the cockpit.
The flight took off the runway at 12:41 pm on Tuesday afternoon and all was normal for what was expected to be a routine three-hour and 10-minute journey. But one hour into the flight Delay, the plane had to be diverted to the Portuguese island of Porto Santo. The plane made a seven-minute descent before it safely landed on Porto Santo.
After the safe landing, the captain announced that the emergency landing was made because he smelt burning within the cabin. It was reported that the burning smell was caused due to a technical issue.
Passengers aboard the Airbus A320 recounted that they felt afraid and began hyperventilating as the plane began its descent. Mike Rowse, who was aboard the plane with this wife and young daughter, stated that his family felt “apprehensive” as the plane made its emergency landing. He said that the plane began descending quickly and the captain announced over the speaker that the aircraft was facing some technical issue and an emergency landing was requested. Rowse also mentioned that nobody knew what was happening and some passengers were panicking and hyperventilating.
All 167 passengers and six crew members were accounted for after the emergency landing. They were, however, left stranded on Porto Santo for several hours. A replacement plane flew them to London later.
The passengers on the EZY8704 flight delays hailed the crew for handling the situation very well and keeping things under control. Rowse told media that they were later informed that the bearings on a fan under the floor were malfunctioning, causing the burning smell. He did say that the passengers were not aware of this information, which resulted in a lot of panic.
EasyJet’s response to the incident
A spokesperson for EasyJet confirmed the incident and mentioned that the flight EZY8704 departing from Tenerife had to make an emergency landing in Porto Santo on 24 May 2016. The plane was scheduled to arrive at London Gatwick after a three-hour journey, but failed to do so due to a technical issue which required the emergency landing to be made at Porto Santo.
The spokesperson also stated that the emergency landing was executed safely and that all passengers disembarked normally after the landing. EasyJet also arranged for coaches to transport the passengers to a nearby hotel in Porto Santo where they were provided with refreshments. A replacement aircraft later carried the passengers to London Gatwick that evening.
EasyJet issued an apology for the inconvenience caused to the passengers and thanked them for their patience and cooperation. The incident comes in light of the EgyptAir flight MS804 which crashed into the Mediterranean under mysterious circumstances the previous week.