• UK to Alicante-Elche airport flight scare after reports of braking system failure
  • Quote: ‘We hit the ground with a massive bang – and saw the fire engines waiting outside the fire station’.

By Andrew Atkinson

A number of flights were left circling above Benidorm and Albir on Sunday evening – due to a scare at Alicante-Elche airport.

A plane from Bristol made an emergency landing at the airport after the pilot detected a problem in the brakes and activated the emergency protocol.

Emergency fire brigade services were on the scene following the landing of the Ryanair flight.

The alarm was raised after issues with overheating brakes and a subsequent risk of fire.

Firefighting fans were pointed in the direction of the brakes to reduce the heat with passengers having to wait to disembark.

One arrival caught up in the incident was from East Midlands to Alicante-Elche airport which had just 14 passengers on board, finally landing after circling Alicante for half an hour.

Paul Mainwaring, co-owner/partner of Luxury New Home Spain, was on the Ryanair flight from East Midlands airport with his wife Sue.

“The pilot informed us that there was 10 minutes to landing, so the lights went out and we could see Alicante all lit up.

“Just as we were coming off the sea, the pilot did a left turn – and we headed back to sea!,” said Paul.

“My wife’s face was a picture – anyone that knows my wife knows she is not the best flyer.

“We circled around for 30 minutes and there were thoughts of an emergency landing.

“I tried to be calm, but have to admit I was getting a little bit worried,” said Paul.

“The pilot then informed passengers ‘five minutes to landing’. We hit the ground with a massive bang – and saw the fire engines waiting outside the fire station,” added Paul.

Paul and Sue Mainwaring on flight scare from East Midlands airport to Alicante.
Paul and Sue Mainwaring on flight scare from East Midlands airport to Alicante.

Coronavirus Protocol at East Midlands Airport

On the latest coronavirus protocol, Paul said: “We got into the queue at East Midlands and a Ryanair employee asked us if we had our PCR or LAMP test, QR code and Green card.

“I informed him we had a LAMP test yesterday at the airport.  We didn’t have the green card, but I had proof of our application in process. I was told to wait and speak to their colleague at the check-in desk.

“Two people in the queue in front of us were told they could not fly, because one hadn’t got the result come through and the other, because their test was going to be past the 72 hours window of landing.

“We showed our LAMP test and QR code, and we were then asked to show our green cards. I explained that our application was in process and was trying to show proof, but they didn’t want to see that and said we could not fly, without the green card.

“I asked to see a manager and was told to go over to the seated area, and wait to be seen.

“After about 25 minutes, and witnessing several other people being turned away, due to no green card or PCR/LAMP test, I went back to the desk.

“The lady was on the phone trying to get through to immigration in Alicante. She said they had been instructed not to let people through, without a green card.

“There have been quite a few people denied entry to Spain over the last two days, due to this.

“There was another guy next to me, who lived in Gran Alacant, and said he was a resident but could not find his green card.  He was told if he didn’t find it he wasn’t flying.

“At the desk they eventually got through to immigration and started asking me questions: Can I see your NIE, Autonomo, tax declaration, Padron and proof of my application.

“I had all the documentation and she hung up and said ‘okay you can fly’ and we went through security. The call came for our gate and we boarded the plane.

“At Alicante, we went through passport control, then stood by several desks, alongside the baggage carousels, where we were asked to show our PCR or LAMP negative tests and QR codes.

“Nobody asked to see any residency documentation, that’s why it is so strict at the UK side.

“Please make sure you have everything in order – or you will be told you cannot travel. Good luck, and stay safe.”

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