A Ryanair flight carrying dozens of Irish voters home for the abortion referendum was hit by another plane as two aircraft prepared for take-off at London Stansted Airport today.
Primera flight PF2871 going to Malaga and Dublin-bound Ryanair aircraft FR205 were both on the taxiway this morning when they collided. The wing of the Primera flight PF2871 clipped the tail of Ryanair aircraft FR205 just before takeoff.
Passengers were told by cabin crew that the aircraft had been hit by another plane, with three fire engines racing to the scene in Essex at about 9.15am.
One passenger, Malena McQuarrie, 23, from Dublin, told the Independent: “I’m extremely annoyed, but I hope we’re going to get home in time to vote. Luckily I live by the airport so it’s not so bad for me but some people have to go far into the country. A girl in front of me was saying she has to fly back tonight.”
Genevieve Hulme Beaman, 29, of Dublin, added: “My whole reason to get home is to vote, so as long as I get home to vote it’s fine. You can vote until 10pm. I wanted to be there to support the women there, I have a lot of friends who are very emotional today and they could do with the support.”
Fortunately, no injuries were reported and no evacuation was required. The airport said both planes were required to return to the stand after the “minor airfield incident”.
A spokesman for Stansted added: “As a precaution, airfield operations were briefly suspended, but all flights have now resumed.”
A Ryanair spokesman said: “One of our aircraft was stationary at the designated holding point on the taxiway at London Stansted Airport this morning when the winglet of a Primera Air aircraft taxiing behind scraped its tail stabiliser. Both aircraft were under the instruction of London Stansted Air Traffic Control at the time. The Ryanair aircraft returned to stand to be inspected by Ryanair engineers. To minimise delay, customers will transfer to a replacement aircraft later this morning.”