British Airways flight to Athens makes emergency landing in Zurich after co-pilot falls unconscious

British Airways A320neo © Airbus

British Airways flight BA640 from London to Athens on 26 December was forced to make an emergency landing in Zurich after the first officer fell unconscious in the cockpit.  

The co-pilot of the Airbus A320neo (registered G-TTNM) had complained about feeling unwell halfway into the flight, forcing the captain to turn the plane around and return to Heathrow, reported MailOnline and The Independent.

However, the captain was forced to make an immediate landing in Switzerland as the condition of the co-pilot deteriorated rapidly.

© Flightradar24

The flight landed at Zurich without any incident. The First Officer was taken to hospital in Zurich but later released after a check-up. The aircraft eventually left for its original destination nearly six hours later. It reached Athens with a delay of eight hours.

A spokesperson for the British Airways said: “The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority and our teams looked after customers before they carried on their journey to Athens yesterday evening.”

The first officer has reportedly recovered. However, the airline has so far not disclosed the cause of the pilot’s illness. “The first officer simply felt unwell,” said the spokesperson.


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