Flight turns back after ash scare

2010-05-11 15:02

Dublin – A Ryanair flight from Belfast to London was forced to turn back shortly after taking off on Tuesday because of an "oily smell" in the cabin, the low-cost airline said.

Ryanair said the plane landed "normally" but the Irish airline was unable to say whether it was one of two grounded on Sunday because of technical problems and later found to have volcanic ash in their engines.

A Ryanair statement said: "Shortly after take off the cabin crew noticed an 'oily smell' in the cabin, standard procedure was followed and the aircraft turned back and landed normally at 07:30 in Belfast City Airport where all passengers disembarked normally using the aircraft steps."

"Ryanair engineers will now examine the aircraft, before releasing it to return to service later this morning."

The two planes with traces of ash in their engines were put back into service on Monday.

The incident came as air travellers in Europe were facing more disruption on Tuesday from a volcanic ash cloud from Iceland which can damage jet engines.

Airports were closed in Spain, the Canary Islands and parts of Morocco on Tuesday, and the ash was set to spread further to south-western France, said Eurocontrol, the agency which co-ordinates air traffic control across Europe.

When the volcano first erupted last month, it triggered a shutdown of European airspace up to a week, affecting millions of passengers.

Airports in the Republic of Ireland have been closed several times by the ash cloud.