By Gergana Krasteva

A jet was forced to turn around 20 minutes into a flight after ‘the cockpit filled with smoke’.

The Virgin Atlantic A330-300 reportedly declared an emergency after taking off from Manchester Airport at about 1pm on Sunday.

Flight VS77 reported a technical issue and turned around while over the Irish sea en-route to the Barbados capital Bridgetown.

Pilots are said to have informed air traffic controllers of ‘dense and acrid smell of smoke’.

Fire engines were awaiting the plane as it landed at Manchester Airport, ready to ‘cool the breaks’, Airlive reported.

A woman from Rhyl, Wales, posted on X, that it appeared to fly ‘really low’ and at a ‘really strange angle’.

‘I saw it heading towards my direction as was sitting on my bed and looking out of my window the angle it was flying looked really strange… straight away knew something was wrong,’ she added.

She later added: ‘I never see big planes that low over North Wales unless it is an emergency.’

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: ‘The VS77 from Manchester to Barbados has returned to Manchester due to a technical issue.

‘The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

‘We will ensure our customers can complete their travel plans and keep them updated directly on next steps.’