Terrified passengers on an Aer Lingus jet had a lucky escape after their plane almost ran out of fuel.
The flight, from Lanzarote to Dublin, was forced to make an unscheduled landing at Shannon airport, near Limerick in the middle of the night on Wednesday (July 20).
Some passengers have now shared their terrifying experiences, including the moment they were warned what to do if an evacuation was needed as they approached the unexpected landing.
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Speaking to the Sun, one said: “It was very scary. Most thought the plane had a serious issue at that stage as wasn’t clear what was going on.”
Another said: “Don’t forget the announcement on approach to Shannon about what to do if an evacuation is needed.
"The plane was very low on fuel.”
A third passenger added: “More utter chaos from Aer Lingus. Flight delayed, takes off 2hrs late, gets as far as Bray, but there’s no runway (at Dublin) big enough free to take the plane.
"They don’t have enough fuel to circle so have to divert to Shannon….all at 2am.
"They have to wait to refuel and take off for Dublin again and hope the runway is free this time.
"It was still an unwelcome worry for those involved and for family waiting, unaware of what was going on.”
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The Irish Sun revealed that the flight had in fact been run by a third-party organisation that was also behind the controversial removal flights of refugees from the UK to Rwanda. Privilege Style, a Spanish outfit, has now had more scrutiny heaped on it after the traumatising experience mid-week.
Aer Lingus is understood to be using the firm to help them cope with staff shortages.
They say that Flight EI779 was forced to divert after they failed to realise that the main Dublin runway was closed and were left without a runway big enough to land on.
The closure had been flagged at a ‘Notice to Airmen’, which pilots are meant to read before they take off.
Aer Lingus said: “Due to crew illness and operational challenges, we have leased an aircraft from Privilege Style to operate on our behalf and minimise disruption to our customers’ travel plans.”
They said that Privilege Style meet all safety requirements and that the plane eventually landed in Dublin less than two hours after it was scheduled to.
"We apologise to those customers impacted for the delay.”
Privilege Style has been contacted for comment.
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