Published on : Thursday, January 11, 2018
Ryanair flight FR7063 was on its way from the tourist resort of Alicante in Spain to Dublin on Wednesday afternoon (10 January) when the pilot decided to divert the plane to Santander, in northern Spain, after the duo became “aggressive”.
The captain radioed ahead for the Civil Guard – the Spanish police – to meet the aircraft on the runway where the couple were asked to leave the plane to be formally identified.
The two passengers at the centre of the incident face a potentially hefty fine for breaching air security. The Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency (AESA) will determine the amount.
A spokesman for the Civil Guard said the couple were aggressive and looked like they had been arguing violently after having too much to drink.
The flight resumed an hour later.
Ryanair insisted that the issue highlighted the need to limit alcohol consumption at airports. Over the last two years 442 people have been arrested for drunken behaviour at airports and on flights.
Airports are exempt from the Licensing Act 2003, which regulates the sale and supply of alcohol and opening hours for licensed premises. The exemption allows passengers to buy drinks at selected premises at any time of the day, even before an early flight.
A House of Lords report in April last year called for an end to 24-hour boozing after it found that consumption of alcohol before a flight, particularly in the early hours, was directly connected to so-called “air rage” incidents.