AN in-bound Virgin Atlantic A340-600 aircraft to Lagos from London Heathrow Airport made an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport Monday following technical fault.
Captain of the aircraft took a decision to return to base over an hour into the flight. However, it was not clear why the crew decided to land at Gatwick and not the original point of take-off, which was London Heathrow Airport.
The passengers, who were expected in Lagos at 6 a.m. Tuesday, were however, taken to a four-star hotel in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) stipulation.
One of the passengers, Godson Okoroafor, told The Guardian from London that they departed Heathrow on Sunday night but made a return to Gatwick after the aircraft developed fault way into the flight. They eventually left London at 3 p.m. and arrived Lagos at about 8.30 p.m.
He wondered why the captain did not make an emergency landing in the nearest airport since by that time, he was sure the aircraft would have left the British airspace.
Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic spokesperson, Kudirat Scott-Igbene, confirmed that VS651 returned to Gatwick on March 18 due to a technical issue, adding that engineers attended to it and the problem was rectified.
JD:We thank God for little mercies