After forcing an unscheduled landing by faking a medical emergency, around 20 passengers escaped on the island of Palma de Mallorca.
On the evening of November 5, 2021, the Air Arabia Maroc Airbus A320 was carrying out flight 437 from Casablanca (CMN) to Istanbul (SAW). But as it was flying near the Mallorca island, which is situated off the Spanish coast, an emergency was declared on board after a passenger reported suffering a diabetic episode. Thus, the flight diverted to Palma de Mallorca (PMI), so the traveler could receive medical attention.
But during the deplaning of the supposedly ill passenger, around 20 people took the opportunity to abscond from the plane on the tarmac. The police began searching the airport, which resulted in operations being interrupted for more than four hours. As a consequence, 13 planes bound for Palma were rerouted to other airports, and 16 departing flights were delayed.
“12 people have been arrested and 12 are still wanted,” said Aina Calvo, representative of the Spanish government, on November 6, 2021.
The Moroccan man, who had complained of discomfort, was taken to hospital where it was declared that he was in perfect health. He was arrested by the police on suspicion of having “helped with illegal immigration”. The person accompanying him fled soon after reaching the hospital.