Passengers of a Jet2 flight from Manchester to Larnaca were subjected to a 24-hour delay over the weekend due to a mechanical problem and Turkey’s refusal to allow the plane to fly straight to Cyprus.
Passengers on Flight LS944 – that had departed from Manchester Airport on Saturday – had been told by the captain as it approached Cyprus that a mechanical problem meant the plane needed to make a forced landing at Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport on the southern coast of Turkey.
Cyprus Crisis Management Centre official Maria Michael told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that one of the five Cypriot passengers onboard the plane had contacted them once they landed in Turkey.
“We contacted the airline company that informed us that another plane would be sent to Turkey to collect the passengers and take them to Cyprus,” she said.
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The Cypriot passengers – along with remaining British passengers – were put into a hotel on Saturday night in Izmir but the Turkish authorities had handed them temporary visas because of Turkey’s refusal to recognise Cypriot passports or Cypriot ID cards.
There were further delays for the passengers when the pilot was informed that his request to fly out to Larnaca Airport had been refused because Turkey “did not recognise Larnaca Airport”.
The plane instead flew out to Rhodes and then to Larnaca with the pilot reportedly telling passengers that the further delay was due to “the political dispute” between Turkey and Cyprus.
“We had initial concerns that a flight would take place to the airport in Tympou (Ercan) but were then assured that there were no such plans,” continued Michael.