Easyjet Captain Asks 19 Passengers To Get Off ‘Too Heavy To Fly’ Aircraft In Lanzarote

Image of an easyJet aircraft.

Image of an easyJet aircraft. Credit: Kamilpetran/ Shutterstock.com

An EasyJet captain was forced to ask 19 passengers to get off his aircraft at Arrecife Airport in Lanzarote because it was too heavy to take off.

Adverse weather conditions and the weight of the aircraft prevented it from taking off, plus the runway on the popular Canary Island is notoriously short for aircraft to take off from.

As a consequence, the flight to John Lennon Airport in Liverpool suffered a delay of more than an hour. It was scheduled to depart at 9:45 pm local time but subsequently left at 11:30 pm, according to the Liverpool Echo.

The captain explained the situation to his passengers

In a video sent by one of the passengers to the aforementioned news outlet, the captain can be heard explaining the situation to his passengers.

‘Thank you for getting here today. Because there are so many of you it’s a pretty heavy aircraft’, he stated. ‘There are a number of factors – it’s very hot, the wind isn’t fantastic, the direction isn’t great’, he continued.

He then explained that due to the shortness of the Lanzarote runway and the unfavourable weather conditions at the time, the plane was ‘too heavy to take off’.

‘I’ve sat down with my senior first officer and we have a lot of experience with this and we’ve done this before. With safety our number one priority, there’s no way, with the current wind conditions, that we’re going to be able to get this aircraft airborne’, he told the passengers honestly.

It was concluded that up to 20 passengers needed to leave the plane

After speaking with the operations team, it was concluded that the only way to be able to take off safely was for around 20 passengers to get off the plane.

‘If possible, I would like to ask up to 20 volunteers to choose not to fly to Liverpool tonight. If anyone wants to volunteer there will be an incentive. The current figure that easyJet has quoted is up to €500 per passenger. Who is willing not to fly tonight?’ he asked.

Following the captain’s proposal, a total of 19 passengers decided not to fly to Liverpool that evening. The jet eventually landed in Liverpool at 3 am on Thursday morning, July 6.

The 19 passengers who chose to remain overnight in Lanzarote flew home on a later flight. As explained by an easyJet spokesperson, this procedure is a standard measure employed when an aircraft exceeds its safe weight to fly.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he 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 editorial@euroweeklynews.com


    • Neil Friday

      09 July 2023 • 16:56

      Quick rough calculations show saving in weight including baggage etc of about 2 Tons !!

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