It’s all Greek to Ryanair

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16th May 2013
Written by: Will Jones

Ryanair flight lands 200 miles from destination

Passengers Kefalonia-bound diverted to Thessaloniki on the Greek mainland due to “darkness”

It’s always a bit of a gamble flying with the budget carrier Ryanair, but passengers on board a recent flight from London Stansted to the Ionian island of Kefalonia were treated to an intriguing new level of ineptitude. Instead of landing on the island made famous by ­Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, the plane ended up settling down in Thessaloniki on the Greek mainland, 200 miles away.

The reason for the extraordinary mishap was revealed by Sunday Times journalist Kate Mansey, who was one of the unfortunate voyagers and tweeted: ‘On a Ryanair flight that has just landed in the WRONG Greek Island. Excuse? “Too dark” to land in correct airport. Furious passengers.’

Interestingly, the flight, which took off on time, was scheduled to land at 9.20pm, which further boggled the minds of those on board. Mansey went on to say: ‘They said [they] can only land at Kefalonia during “daylight hours”.’

However, after two hours in Thessaloniki airport, Ryanair had a change of heart and decided that it actually could indeed land planes in the dark, and announced that it was ready to take the passengers to the intended destination. According to Mansey a passenger got a laugh when he asked: ‘Has the sun come up in Kefalonia then?’ She herself went on to ponder: ‘Maybe they have found a torch.’

A spokesman for Ryanair, which launched its twice-weekly flights to Kefalonia just a few weeks ago, claimed runway restrictions were the cause of the misadventure: ‘Ryanair flight FR6611 from Stansted to Kefalonia on 13 May diverted to Thessaloniki due to runway restrictions which prevail over Ryanair night time flights into Kefalonia. The aircraft landed normally at Thessaloniki and repositioned to Kefalonia once this restriction was cleared. Ryanair sincerely apologises to passengers affected by this two hour delay, and has altered the scheduled timings of its Kefalonia flights to ensure that this night time landing restriction will not recur.’

Has anything similar ever happened to you on a flight? Post your stories below, we want to hear them!

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