The plane had to detour 650 miles to pick up a crew member for another flight, adding more than 2 hours to the trip

A Tui flight faced a 2.5 hour diversion as it had to pick up a crew member in another city.Nicolas Economou/Getty Images

  • A Tui plane had to detour 650 miles with its passengers to pick up a crew member.

  • He stopped in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the opposite direction to his destination of Corfu.

  • Earlier this week, Norwich Evening News reported a similar incident on a Norwich-Mallorca flight.

A plane with hundreds of passengers on board detoured 650 miles in the opposite direction to its destination to pick up an extra crew member.

The Tui flight from Norwich, England to Corfu, Greece was forced to stop in Belfast, Northern Ireland to pick up a replacement crew member for another flight.

The Incident was first reported by SimpleFlying.

Flight data shows the plane leaving Norwich for Belfast, before returning on its own past Norwich and onto the Mediterranean island.

Belfast is the opposite direction to Corfu, the distance totaling a detour of around 650 miles.

The flight finally landed at 11 a.m. local time, a delay of 2 hours and 17 minutes.

A Tui spokesperson said: “We fully understand customer frustration over the delay of flight TOM5528 from Norwich to Corfu on August 19,” a TUI spokesperson told Insider.

“We can confirm that the flight had to make a short stopover via Belfast to provide a replacement crew member for another Tui flight.”

It was the second time in a week that a Tui flight had to make the diversion, with another flight from Norwich to the Spanish island of Mallorca stopping in Belfast to pick up a crew member, the Norwich Evening News reported.

Airlines around the world are facing worker shortages after many were laid off or took voluntary departures during the pandemic, with airlines struggling to replace them as demand returns with restrictions eased.

According to Simple Flying, the Boeing 737-800 is leased from Sunwing Airlines of Canada and operated by its crews. However, Tui pilots are not allowed to fly Tui-owned aircraft, which compounds the problems when staffing issues arise at smaller airports such as Norwich in the east of England.

Earlier this month, a Tui flight was deferred 40 hours due to technical problems, according to the Norwich Evening News.

Aviation worker shortages have been spotted by analysts as the underlying cause of travel chaos this summer. Airlines including Lufthansa are trying to hire 10,000 workers to combat the thousands of delays suffered in recent months.

Read the original article at Business Intern