Ryanair flight performs emergency landing after losing cabin pressure
Plane bound for Canary Islands has to return to Barajas after incident
Sixteen passengers given medical treatment after suffering from headaches and earaches
The loss of cabin pressure during a Ryanair flight from Madrid to the Canary Islands on Friday morning saw the plane have to turn around and perform a forced landing, touching down at Barajas an hour after having taken off, according to sources from the airline and the airport.
Flight FR2011 took off at 7.15am, and when technical problems were first noted, the crew carried out standard procedures to deal with the depressurization of the cabin, including the deployment of oxygen masks for the passengers and a descent to the corresponding altitude.
The flight then returned “immediately” to Madrid’s Barajas airport, according to the company, and landed “normally” at 8.25am.
A number of passengers from the Boeing 737 complained of headaches and earaches after leaving the plane, leading to 16 people being treated by medical staff at Barajas.
A user of the microblogging site Twitter, DeividBetancor (@deividbetancor), was one of the passengers on the plane, and posted several messages and photos on his account. “I have just had the biggest scare of my life… Don’t ever fly with RYANAIR, ever! Oxygen masks in the middle of the flight!” he wrote.
The Irish airline has apologized to the 160 passengers, who were put on a replacement flight later on Friday morning.
“Is Ryanair a safe airline?” asked the spokesman for the consumer group Facua, Rubén Sánchez, on Friday morning. “We are calling on the Public Works Ministry to take action once and for all,” he said. “It seems as if they are waiting for there to be a big accident before they take action against the Irish company.”
An investigation was opened by the Public Works Ministry in August after three planes had to make emergency landings at Valencia airport due to a lack of fuel. It later emerged that Ryanair obliges its pilots to operate following a strict fuel policy, under which they must fly with the minimum amount allowed in order to keep running costs down.
But Facua has criticized the lack of information about the probe. “We know nothing about the investigation, and more and more consumers are calling us to ask if flying with Ryanair is really safe,” said Sánchez.
Friday’s incident was the second involving Ryanair in a week. The first took place on Sunday on a flight from Valencia to Santiago de Compostela. Moments after takeoff, flight FR7222 had to return to Valencia airport due to “technical reasons,” according to the company. The passengers were complaining of headaches and earaches, El Correo Gallego reported, due to the loss of pressure in the cabin.