Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson stepped in to fly XL passengers stranded abroad back to the UK.
The heavy metal singer, who is a qualified Boeing 757 pilot, captained a specially-chartered Monarch Airlines flight from Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on Saturday morning and also flew around 200 passengers home from the Greek island of Kos that night, a spokesman for Astraeus, the airline he works for, said.
The spokesman said that Dickinson has been employed as a full-time member of staff at Astraeus for the past seven years and regularly pilots planes to Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
He said: "The roster meant that Bruce was on holiday when this was going on. After XL went bump it just so happened that Bruce, being on holiday, was available and other cabin crew were brought in as well."
Marc Cryer, a passenger on the flight from Sharm El Sheikh, said he knew the musician was a pilot but was still surprised to see him. He said: "I think I was about the only person on the plane that recognised him."