Safety issue forces Ryanair flight return

Sat, Sep 8, 2012, 01:00

A RYANAIR flight from Madrid to the Canary Islands was forced to turn back and land in the Spanish capital shortly after takeoff yesterday due to safety concerns.

The Boeing 737, which left Madrid at 7.15am, turned back less than an hour later after depressurisation problems were detected.

The incident comes after a spate of security alerts over the summer which prompted Spain’s Ministry of Public Works to investigate Ryanair’s safety record. Dismissing the inquiry, chief executive Michael O’Leary has insisted passenger safety was never at risk and that only Irish authorities are entitled to sanction Ryanair.

A statement from the airline apologised for yesterday’s incident and said: “The pilots carried out the usual procedures in case of depressurisation, releasing oxygen masks and embarking on a controlled descent.” It said the 160 passengers were offered seats on another flight that morning.

However, 16 passengers required medical attention and two were taken to hospital. Miguel Ángel Cayuela, who was on the flight, told El Mundo newspaper his wife’s ears started to bleed during the flight, and that their holiday had been “ruined”.

This was the second such incident involving Ryanair in less than a week and comes after a summer of bad publicity in Spain. Last Sunday, a domestic flight was forced to return to Manises airport near Valencia soon after take-off due to depressurisation.

On Tuesday, a Ryanair craft from Leeds requested permission to land in Lanzarote ahead of other aircraft because it was low on fuel. On July 26th, three Ryanair aircraft made similar requests when approaching Valencia airport after being diverted from Madrid due to fuel issues.