FlyBe plane in emergency landing at Belfast City Airport
A PLANE at George Best Belfast City Airport was forced to make an emergency landing today after experiencing technical problems shortly after take-off.
There were unconfirmed reports that smoke was seen billowing out of the engine of the Flybe aircraft as it left the runway early this morning.
Fire appliances and ambulances raced to the east Belfast airport when the alert was raised just after 7.35am.
No one was injured and all 61 passengers and four crew members were able to walk off the plane safely.
Eye-witnesses claimed to have seen smoke coming from one of the plane’s engines.
The plane has since been towed away for further examination.
In a statement released this morning a spokeswoman for Flybe said: “Flybe can confirm that flight BE125 en route from Belfast City Airport to Glasgow experienced technical problems immediately after take- off.
“The aircraft returned to Belfast City Airport where the passengers and crew disembarked normally and without incident.
“The aircraft is now being assessed by Flybe engineers and passengers have been offered alternative travel arrangements.
“Flybe apologises for any inconvenience but the safety of our passengers and crew is always paramount.”
A spokesman for the George Best Belfast City Airport said emergency procedures had been put in place as a “precautionary measure”.
The incident has had a knock-on effect for other air travellers with a number of flights delayed and others, including the Easyjet 8.15am from London Luton, diverted to Belfast International Airport.
Belfast Lord Mayor Naomi Long, whose constituency includes the city airport, said: “I want to praise the authorities on the swift action they took to clear the plane and deal with this incident.
“I am very glad this worrying issue was dealt with quickly and safely and I hope that the airport can get back to business and minimise disruption following it.”