British Airways flight from London 'makes emergency landing after co-pilot fell unconscious'

Ross McGuinness
·2 min read
A British Airways Airbus A320-232 plane prepares to take off at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex.
A BA captain made an emergency landing after his first officer fell ill, it has been reported. (PA)

A British Airways flight from London at the weekend was forced into an emergency landing after the co-pilot fell unconscious, it has been reported.

The captain of the A320 Airbus bound for Athens in Greece made an emergency landing in Zurich, according to the Daily Mail.

The newspaper said he took the action after his first officer passed out while at the controls during the flight on Boxing Day.

It said he had reported feeling unwell about halfway through the three-and-a-half hour flight.

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This caused the captain to turn the plane around in an effort to return to Heathrow Airport in London.

However, the first officer’s condition deteriorated so rapidly the captain made an immediate landing in Switzerland.

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The co-pilot was then taken to hospital, the Daily Mail reported.

After the plane landed in Zurich on Saturday, it remained on the ground for more than five hours.

It eventually continued its journey, with passengers arriving in Athens nine hours after the original take-off from Heathrow.

The Daily Mail said the co-pilot was later released from a hospital in Zurich following a check-up.

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It quoted a BA source, who reportedly said: “The first officer had initially complained of feeling ill, but on the return to Heathrow passed out.

A British Airways Airbus A320-232 plane lands at Heathrow Airport in West London.
The co-pilot on the British Airways Boxing Day flight reportedly fell unconscious. (PA)

“The captain thought the situation was serious enough to divert rather than try and return to Heathrow.”

It is unclear what caused the co-pilot to pass out.

A spokeswoman for BA said: “The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority and the flight continued to its destination as planned.”

Last week, British Airways axed 15 of its long-haul routes, following the collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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