Emergency landing at Belfast International Airport
A passenger jet was forced to make an emergency landing at Belfast International Airport after developing technical difficulties minutes after taking off.
It is understood the captain of the Thomas Cook chartered Airbus 320 which had 175 passengers on board reported a problem with its landing gear at 9.40am today.
Flight 8126 which was bound for Tenerife was forced to circle the Co Antrim airport for more than an hour in an attempt to burn off fuel before attempting the emergency landing.
The plane touched down safely at about 11.30am.
Nine fire appliances and a number ambulances were on standby at the side of the runway awaiting the arrival of the plane.
A spokeswoman for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said they were not immediately aware of the precise nature of the problem.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Belfast International Airport said it had been a “huge relief” that the aircraft had come down safely.
“Thankfully we have had a safe landing and everyone is okay,” she said.
“The aircraft will be inspected by the fire service before taxiing to a stand.
“I am sure there will be a few passengers on board who will have found this experience a bit daunting however, thankfully everyone is safe and well.”
The spokeswoman said that it was ‘standard procedure’ to bring the emergency crews to the runway.
“The fire crews and ambulances are at the rendezvous point and all of our own teams were on standby,” she added.
“This is standard procedure. It is a well rehearsed drill.
“We understand the plane developed a technical difficulty but we are not at liberty to say or speculate the exact nature of the problem.
A spokesman for Thomas Cook Airlines said: "We're pleased to confirm that flight TCX 8126, which turned back after developing technical problems, has now landed safely at Belfast International Airport."
The replacement flight is due to leave Belfast at 3pm today.