TUI Boeing 737 returns to Brussels twice the same day
On Monday, August 8, 2022, the same Boeing 737 diverted twice due to technical issues. For context, both of these incidents involve TUI fly Belgium, which is a Belgian low cost carrier and charter operator.
The airline operates a fleet of 30 aircraft, including everything from Boeing 737s to Boeing 787s. In this case we’re focusing specifically on a 15-year-old Boeing 737-800 with the registration code OO-JAF, as this plane didn’t have a good day yesterday.
TUI flight to Rhodes returns to Brussels
The first incident involves TUI fly Belgium flight TB2341, which was scheduled to fly from Brussels (BRU) to Rhodes, Greece (RHO). The plane took off for the 1,537-mile journey around 6:30AM as scheduled, and climbed all the way up to 36,000 feet.
However, about 45 minutes after takeoff, the crew made the decision to return to Brussels due to a technical issue. The plane ended up landing back in Brussels around 1hr45min after it departed.
The airline found a replacement aircraft, and after a 3hr20min flight, passengers arrived in Rhodes a bit after 5PM, nearly six hours behind schedule. That’s probably not how most people were hoping to start their Greek holiday, but at least they got there same day, and would also be entitled to EU261 compensation.
TUI flight to Tirana returns to Brussels
Unfortunately for TUI fly Belgium passengers, that wasn’t the only incident of the day. I guess TUI decided that it had figured out whatever issue there was with the 737, so the plane operated another flight later that day.
The second incident involves TUI fly Belgium flight TB2951, which was scheduled to fly from Brussels (BRU) to Tirana, Albania (TIA). The plane took off for the 978-mile journey around 6:00PM as scheduled, and climbed up to 37,000 feet.
However, about 40 minutes after takeoff, the crew made the decision to return to Brussels due to (once again) a technical issue. The plane ended up landing back in Brussels around 1hr30min after it departed. As you can see below, the flight path was almost identical to that of the first one.
The airline ended up finding a replacement aircraft, and after a 2hr5min flight, passengers arrived in Tirana a bit after 2:40AM, over seven hours behind schedule. Ouch.
It goes without saying that planes sometimes have technical and mechanical issues that require diversions. However, it’s not often you hear of the same plane diverting twice in one day. Even beyond that, it’s pretty remarkable that the plane turned around in nearly the same spot on both flights.
We don’t have knowledge of what the technical issues were, though it seems more likely than not that the problems were linked, and just weren’t fixed correctly the first time around.
What do you make of this TUI incident?