The 400 passengers on Air France flight AF642 had a difficult time to return to Reunion. Scheduled to leave Orly last Thursday night, the plane would arrive only Saturday night. After takeoff, the aircraft had indeed had to turn around.
Taking off from Paris Orly on time (21:00) on Thursday 12 April evening, the Boeing 777-300ER of Air France registered F-GSQT was forced to turn around after 2 hours of flight, because of a major breakdown. It was a return to Paris CDG in Roissy, however, and not to its home base Orly.
The 400 passengers of the flight were taken care of and spent the night at a hotel.
The next day, Friday, seemed to be the right one for them. A new aircraft was scheduled at 16:00, but again the plane would not arrive safely. Impossible to take off, but for a reason that still seems fuzzy. According to passenger reports, an announcement was made to explain that the flight plan needed to be changed, but authorisations to fly over some countries such as Egypt did not arrive in time. A problem of heavy drinking of one of the passengers or insufficient rest periods for the crew were also mentioned as possible reasons for the additional delay.
In the end, it was not until 13:30 (Paris time) this Saturday 14 April that the unfortunate passengers took off from Roissy to begin their 10-hours 30-minutes flight towards Roland Garros airport in Saint-Denis de la Réunion.