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Yet Another British Airways Plane Makes Lengthy Flight to Nowhere With Passengers Forced to Fly an 11-Hour Return Flight to London

Yet Another British Airways Plane Makes Lengthy Flight to Nowhere With Passengers Forced to Fly an 11-Hour Return Flight to London

a large airplane flying in the sky

Passengers onboard what should have been a routine flight from London Heathrow to Hong Kong endured an 11-hour flight to nowhere after the Boeing 777-200 diverted back to London five hours into the flight as it was overflying Turkmenistan.

The passengers ended up being onboard for just one hour less than the time it would have taken to fly to Hong Kong, but they ended up arriving back exactly where they started the flight.

British Airways flight BA31 departed London Heathrow nearly two hours late on Saturday evening and was flying at around 35,000 feet when a technical issue was reportedly detected with the 23-year-old aircraft.

Rather than diverting to an alternative airport or carrying on to Hong Kong, the airline decided to turn the plane around and fly it back to BA’s home base where its own maintenance team would be able to fix the technical hitch.

The aircraft has not flown since it landed at 8 am on Sunday morning, although the plane is scheduled to return to service on Monday evening.

In a statement, a spokesperson for British Airways told us: “The flight returned to London Heathrow as a precaution due to a minor technical issue.”

The statement continued: “It landed safely and customers disembarked as normal. We’ve apologised to our customers for the disruption to their journey.”

The plane involved in this incident (registration: G-YMMI) had also been involved in another recent mishap. Last November, the plane was scheduled to fly from Heathrow to Doha when the pilots reported smoke onboard shortly after takeoff, forcing an emergency return and a full-scale emergency response.

The aircraft had been undergoing maintenance and had undergone an engine change. The flight to Doha was the plane’s first flight after the engine change.

The flight to nowhere comes just weeks after another British Airways plane bound for Houston backtracked over the Atlantic after the Boeing 787 Dreamliner had already reached the coast of North America.

Again, a technical issue had been detected, and rather than continuing to its destination, BA decided to have the aircraft return to Heathrow so that its own engineers could fix it.

In this case, passengers sat onboard the plane for an entire day and endured a nine-hour flight to nowhere – just 40 minutes less than it would have taken to fly all the way to Houston.

British Airways did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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