Halfway through journey, BA jet triggers 6,000-mile flight to nowhere

Published on : Friday, July 8, 2016

british airwaysA British Airways jet, Flight BA7, flying from Heathrow to Tokyo had to be turned around to London even after flying more than halfway to its destination.


Flight BA7 left the UK at noon on Thursday and was scheduled to arrive 11 hours later at Tokyo’s Narita airport. However, after Boeing 777 flew over northern Siberia, about 1,000 miles north of the city of Novosibirsk, it had to turn around and head back to its origin point.


The plane arrived back at Heathrow at midnight, an hour after it was due to touch down in Tokyo, after a journey of more than 6,000 miles.


The flight passengers were provided with hotel rooms and left London at 10:30am next day, marking a delay of about 24 hours.


According to Flightradar24, a tracking service, the plane was diverting to Helsinki initially for a medical emergency on board. However, a spokesperson from BA said “a minor technical fault” was responsible for the return to base. BA is expected to be liable to pay €600 (over £500) to each of the passengers on board. Technical issues that result in a flight arriving three hours or more behind schedule trigger compensation payments under EU rules.


It owes the same obligation to all the passengers waiting in Tokyo to fly to London – a potential total bill of £300,000.  They should meet the cost of accommodating passengers in hotels at either end of the route.


Adding to it, the airline is also responsible to pay for the fuel burned on the “flight to nowhere”.


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