A TUI flight bound for London-Gatwick Airport (LGW) after departing from southern Italy
, made a stop off in Tunisia to deliver a space aircraft part.
According to The Independent, the Boeing 737 MAX jet left Lamezia Terme Airport (SUF) two hours late, at around 2:15pm local time, and was due to arrive in the United Kingdom (UK) three hours later.
However, following take-off, TUI flight BY4651 headed south and shortly after arrived at Enfidha Hammamet Airport (NBE) in Tunisia.
The airline confirmed that the arriving aircraft from Italy was delivering a spare part for an older Boeing 737, which was due to fly to Manchester.
The Independent reported that the diverted flight then spent an hour at the Tunisian airport refuelling, before traveling for three hours to LGW.
With the initial delay leaving Italy, the extra flight time to Tunisia, and the additional hour wait at NBE, TUI passengers arrived back in London over four hours late.
“We can confirm that flight BY4651 made a short stop at Enfidha-Hammamet Airport in order to drop off equipment required at the airport for another aircraft. The equipment was for the TOM529 aircraft, which suffered a technical issue prior to its departure, and needed engineering support,” a spokesperson for TUI said.
The airline apologized for the inconvenience and said that all passengers were given a complimentary drink on board the flight.
The airline added that all passengers “will be entitled to claim EU261 flight delay compensation”.