Panic as Thomas Cook flight loses cabin pressure mid-air


Packed Thomas Cook flight diverts to Faro after loss of cabin pressure 'panic'

A Thomas Cook flight packed with 192 holidaymakers headed for Manchester had to divert to Faro after the plane lost cabin pressure.

The incident occurred on Friday 15 March as passengers flew back from Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.

According to the Aviation Herald, the Thomas Cook Airbus A320-200 performing flight MT-2045 from Fuerteventura, CI (Spain) to Manchester, EN (UK) with 192 people on board, was en route at about 170 nautical miles southwest of Faro (Portugal) when the crew initiated an emergency descent due to the loss of cabin pressure and diverted to Faro.

It added: "The aircraft entered a hold at 3,000 feet to burn off fuel and landed safely on Faro's runway 10", about 75 minutes after the descent started.

The site also said that a replacement Airbus was dispatched to Faro and passengers reached Manchester on 16 March after a 7.5-hour delay.

A spokesperson for Thomas Cook told The Portugal News: "The aircraft developed a technical issue while it was flying over Portugal so diverted into Faro but it was not an emergency landing, an emergency was not declared.

"We'd like to sincerely thank our passengers on the delayed TCX2045 for their patience and understanding as we worked hard to get them home as quickly as possible."

Passengers who had been on the flight left comments on Aviation Herald, with some praising the cabin crew and pilot, and others calling the incident "traumatic".

One passenger, called Chris, wrote: "We are thankful to be home in one piece after what could only be described as a traumatic experience. This was not helped by semi-hysterical cabin staff who appeared more panicked than the passengers.

"We are grateful to the pilot/co-pilot who got us to Faro safely, but disturbed by the A320 captain's comments as to the need or not to prolong the agony by going into 'hold' for so long when apparently not necessary. 'Do not be alarmed at the smell of burning' is advice that will stay with me for a long time."

Another passenger, called Kate, wrote: "Would just like to say a big thank you to the pilots who did a brilliant job, I completely understand how worried the cabin crew would have been, however [I] did find them slightly unprofessional after one of them announcing we may not have a proper landing and then bursting into tears, and we received no help with the mask for our two-year-old... Other than that they did a good job and everyone on board stayed calm despite the unknown and fear of what was going on."

There were also comments praising the skill and bravery of the staff.

A holidaymaker, called Barry, wrote: "Pilot performed wonderfully circling near Faro with undercarriage deployed to help burn off fuel, so as to get a safe weight for landing; the incident was handled very well with all emergency services at the ready when the plane landed at Faro.

"Despite the shock of sudden loss of cabin pressure, rapid descent and deployment of oxygen masks, everybody appeared to be in reasonable health. A big thank you to all involved from a grateful passenger of that flight."

Another anonymous passenger added: "Would like to say a big thank you to the member of crew who helped us put an oxygen mask on our two-year-old boy as he was struggling and screaming so much. All of the crew were excellent and the Captain and First Officer did a brilliant job in keeping everyone calm and dealing with the emergency."

Related articles

Thomas Cook holiday plane makes emergency landing in Dublin after smoke in cockpit

Man named Thomas Cook manages to blag free holiday

Not keen on flying? Try one of these brilliant days out for Easter:

Easter holidays: UK days out with the kids

Easter holidays: UK days out with the kids