An Air Malta flight bound for Manchester Airport in the United Kingdom was forced to make a mid-air return after it ‘forgot’ two passengers in Malta.
The incredible incident happened on August 28 when the aircraft had set out from the country’s international airport in Luqa.
However, around 40 minutes into the flight to the UK, the captain was said to have announced to the passengers that it would have to turn back to pick two people still at the Maltese airport departure lounge.
The Times of Malta reported that originally, the airline said that the Airbus A319 made the return due to “a security precautionary measure following a discrepancy in the number of passengers and baggage on board.”
Air Malta’s head of safety and compliance highlighted that procedures had not been correctly followed, and confirmed that 11 members of staff were being interviewed and disciplinary action was not ruled out.
An airline spokesperson said: “We have taken this incident extremely seriously. A thorough investigation was concluded within five days and the corrective action required will be applied immediately.”
Flight KM 146 made a safe landing back at Luqa Airport, where staff met with the two passengers, a Briton and a Chinese.
However, the flight was fully booked so two staff members who were travelling on discounted tickets agreed to give up their seats for the pair before the plane took off for the UK.
The incident is believed to have cost the airline €2,000 (£1,500).