TUI flight from Portugal to UK squawks alert after ‘medical emergency’ declared

Image: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

A PASSENGER flight from Portugal to the UK squawked 7700 and had to be diverted to another airport for a ‘medical emergency’.

A flight from passenger airline TUI from Portugal to Bristol was forced to divert after alert code 7700 was squawked, which signals a medical emergency.

The aeroplane, which had a stopover in Portugal after leaving Sal International Airport in Cape Verde at 11.19 pm on Tuesday, June 7, was due to land at Bristol Airport at around 6.36 am on Wednesday, June 8.

However, according to Flightradar24, the flight was diverted to Birmingham Airport (BHX).

Captain Hoke, a Boeing 757/767 captain for a package express airline and AeroSavvy website contributor, told the website: “If a crew resets their transponder to the emergency code of 7700 (squawking 7700), all air traffic control facilities in the area are immediately alerted that the aircraft has an emergency situation.

“It’s up to the crew to let ATC know what the exact situation is. It may be an aircraft problem, medical issue, or something else.

“In some cases, a crew may not elect to change their transponder to 7700 (it’s not required). If I’m talking to Chicago Approach and have a problem, I’ll tell them the problem, declare an emergency over the radio and get vectors to land immediately.

“In an international environment where language and communication may be challenging, squawking 7700 makes it very clear to ATC that the crew needs priority and assistance,” he said.

Back in May, a passenger flight from Spain to Scotland squawked 7700 and was diverted to France following a medical emergency.

The Jet2 flight from Spain’s Malaga to Glasgow on Thursday, May 5 was forced to land at Nantes Atlantique Airport and it was later revealed that the man had died.

A spokesperson said at the time: “Flight LS134 from Malaga to Glasgow diverted to Nantes last week due to a customer requiring urgent medical attention.

“Regrettably, we can confirm that the customer sadly passed away.

“We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the customer’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at