A flight from Manchester to Portugal was forced to make an emergency landing in France after reports of a fire breaking out on board.
Flighttrackers show flight FR4052 descending rapidly from 41,000ft to 6,725ft in under seven minutes while over the English Channel before landing in Brest airport at 7.30pm on Monday.
The Ryanair operated Boeing 737 aircraft was met on the runway by fire engines and passengers were reportedly evacuated onto a bus by French police.
Despite France’s strict Covid quarantine rules for arriving Britons, the passengers were allowed to board another plane shortly after and continue to its scheduled destination of Faro.
One flightspotter posted a video of the aircraft claiming a fire had broken out on board, according to his friend on the flight.
Ryanair has been approached for comment.
It has emerged that coronavirus travel restrictions led to a 71 per cent reduction in the number of international flights to and from UK airports this year compared with pre-pandemic levels.
Aviation analytics firm Cirium said around 406,060 international flights served UK airports during 2021 up to December 22, compared with 1,399,170 in the pre-pandemic period of 2019.
Read Also: Winnie The Pooh Becomes Public Domain
Ryanair operated the most UK flights – around 101,420.
The recovery of international travel from the virus crisis has been limited due to testing and quarantine requirements, and fears of countries being added to the red list which involved mandatory hotel quarantine.
The rules for people arriving in the UK have changed throughout the year.
Currently, fully vaccinated travellers must take a pre-departure test, and self-isolate until they receive a negative result from a day two post-arrival test.
Those who are not fully vaccinated must self-isolate for 10 days after they arrive.