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Technical fault diverts Ryanair flight

A Malta-bound Ryanair flight from Birmingham was forced to divert to London Stansted yesterday due to a suspected mid-air tech­nical fault.

Weary passengers arrived in Malta two hours and 45 minutes behind schedule due to the diversion.

Ryanair said flight FR3901, which set off from Birmingham at 7.25am, was diverted when a cockpit warning light suggested a “possible technical issue”.

British passenger Steve Ramsden, 39, said passengers were calm when they were told about the diversion and the aircraft landed without a hitch at Stansted.

According to Donald Montebello, 35, who was also on board, engineers checked the Boeing 737-800 on the tarmac at Stansted before the announcement was made for everyone to disembark.

“There was no panic at all,” Mr Montebello said.

Passengers and crew boarded another Ryanair aircraft and continued the journey to Malta.

The low-cost carrier had spare aircraft readily available as it grounds several planes at its Stansted base in winter.

Originally scheduled to land in Malta at 11.45am, flight FR3901 eventually touched down on the island just before 2.30pm.

Passengers who spoke to The Times at Malta International Airport said the experience was frustrating but not frightening.

Ryanair “sincerely apologised” for the delay.

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