A Ryanair flight due to land at Faro Airport (FAO) in Portugal from Manchester Airport (MAN) was forced to return to MAN after a “mid-air fight” broke out.
Ryanair Flight FR4052 took off from Manchester at 6 am on September 18, 2023. and was due to arrive in Portugal around two hours later, but after only a short time in the air the pilot made the decision to return to the English airport.
An eyewitness on the flight told the Liverpool Echo that a passenger on board the Boeing 737 “got very violent and started a mid-air fight”.
A female passenger travelling with the man then reportedly slapped him “hard across the face” due to his behavior towards another female on the aircraft.
Ryanair confirmed that crew members requested police assistance after the passenger became disruptive.
Once back at MAN police officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) entered the aircraft, register EI-EBK, and removed the alleged unruly passenger.
“This is now a matter for local police. We sincerely apologize to affected passengers for any inconvenience caused as a result of this passenger’s disruptive behavior,” Ryanair said in a statement.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed that officers were notified of the incident at around 6:25 am.
“Upon the plane returning to Manchester Airport, a man in his thirties was arrested on suspicion of being drunk on an aircraft, two counts of common assault and a Section 4a public order and remains in police custody for questioning,” a spokesperson for GMP said.
The flight eventually left Manchester and landed in Faro later that morning.