British Airways flight BA854 took off from London’s Heathrow Airport at 7.25am today, and was due to land in Prage, in the Czech Republic, just after 10am.
But just half an hour in, as the plane passed over Dover, it turned around over the Strait of Dover and came back to the UK, according to flight path data from FlightRadar24.
The plane appeared to be heading to London City Airport, but changed direction at the last minute and flew back to Heathrow, where it touched down at 8.41am.
Video footage, captured by a livestreaming service and shared to YouTube, showed that several fire engines rushed to help the plane when it landed at Heathrow.
A British Airway spokesperson told MailOnline that the pilots chose to return following the emergence of a ‘technical issue’, though they declined to specify what the issue was.
They added: ‘We’re sorry for the delay in our customers’ journey after the aircraft returned to Heathrow as a precaution.
‘Our teams looked after them whilst they waited to board a replacement aircraft to continue their journey.’
MailOnline has contacted Heathrow Airport and London Fire Brigade for comment.