A VIRGIN Atlantic flight from Orlando to London Gatwick was forced to make an emergency landing this morning after plumes of smoke emerged on board the aircraft.
The VS1050 flight was scheduled to land in Gatwick at 8.30 am this morning but was diverted following reports of smoke on board.
Pilots managed to land the plane safely at Shannon in Ireland this morning.
Fire services were seen following the aircraft to the boarding gate.
A spokesman from the airline said: “Our flight VS1050 from Orlando to London Gatwick has diverted to Shannon as a precautionary measure after reports of smoke onboard.
“The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we’re now working hard to get our customers to their final destination as quickly as possible.
We’d like to apologise for the disruption to their journey and thank them for their patience.”
Stuart Rust wrote: “After a 24hr delay in Orlando now our #VirginAtlantic flight is diverted into Shannon after a mid Atlantic May Day Call. Staff on board were fantastic throughout the past 2 days @VirginAtlantic.”
The plane is due to arrive at London Gatwick at 1.51 pm this afternoon, according to Gatwick arrivals board.
Neil Double who was on board the flight tweeted: “Mayday call now, you couldn’t make this up! Landed in Ireland not Gatwick! I’m not joking.”
Another passenger said: “Flight VS1050 here with an emergency landing due to smoke. So if this could be addressed for all 191 of us.”
Virgin has not confirmed the suspected cause of the smoke.