Jet2 plane diverted for medical emergency, one passenger dies
A Boeing 737-808 of British low-cost carrier Jet2, registered G-DRTD and operating flight LS171 from Manchester Airport (MAN) to Ibiza Airport (IBZ) diverted to Toulouse Blagnac Airport (TLS) on September 8, 2018, due to a health emergency.
Upon landing, a male passenger was transported to a hospital by ambulance, but did not survive.
A spokesperson for the airline confirmed the plane diverted and the death of the passenger, according to BBC. The reasons of his death are still unknown. The United Kingdom Foreign Office approached the French authorities. “We are supporting his family at this difficult time,” said a spokeswoman of the office.
UPDATE: Several witnesses have reported that the tourist may have died from a cocaine overdose. One witness, talking to The Sun, said he went to the toilets several times and was “acting very strangely”. After the flight attendants closed the toilets to stop him, the man allegedly poured the rest of his drugs into his drink, fearing he might get caught in possession of cocaine, as reported by the Daily Mail. After the man started uncontrollably “shaking” in his seat, two female passengers performed CPR for 20 minutes. A defibrillator was also used in order to revive the man, to no avail.
The increasing problem of “plane partying”
The routes from the United Kingdom to holiday destinations such as Ibiza have become increasingly problematic in recent years. Passengers are known to frequently be under the influence of substances, leading to unruly behavior and even safety emergencies. While cocaine is illegal and should have been detected during security checkup, alcohol consumption, a very legal practice, has been pointed at as the cause for many incidents on board.
With most of its routes to Spain and other holiday destinations around the Mediterranean, Jet2 is frequently affected by unruly behavior of tourists under the influence of alcohol and other substances. On June 25, 2018, another flight of the company, from Birmingham to Ibiza, also diverted to Toulouse because of a “drunk and aggressive” group of 27 passengers. One of them received a lifetime ban from flying with the airline.
In a letter to the British parliament, the airline said that they “have dealt with 536 such disruptive incidents this summer  alone, over half are reported to have been fuelled by alcohol. [...] The Civil Aviation Authority report a 36% increase in disruptive passenger incidents in the UK between 2014 and 2015.”
And the number have not been improving those last years. Between February 2016 and February 2017, 387 people were arrested for being drunk in British airports or on flights departing from them, a 50% increase compared to the previous year.
In the United Kingdom, airports are not subject to the Licensing Act 2003 which forbids businesses to sell alcohol during certain hours. Airlines are advocating for a change of the policy. On August 14, 2017, Ryanair proposed for alcohol not to be sold before 10 in the morning, and to limit passengers to two drinks maximum. “It’s completely unfair that airports can profit from the unlimited sale of alcohol to passengers and leave the airlines to deal with the safety consequences,” said Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair Chief Marketing Officer.
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