On 8 January, a TUI fly Belgium Boeing 737-700 (OO-JAO) was operating flight TB2641 from Brussels South Charleroi Airport to Oujda, Morocco. Forty minutes into the flight, however, the pilots encountered a technical issue. The aircraft headed back to Belgium, not to its airport of departure, but to Brussels Airport, where the airline has its technical and engineering department.
The 137 passengers were informed about a delay of around one hour to solve the issue while a stand-by crew was called to replace the original crew. After starting the engines a second time, however, a new technical problem occurred. Passengers were asked to disembark. Youssef Hamdaoui, one of the passengers, explained to newspaper La Libre Belgique: “There was some scare among the passenger, but the crew and the airline remained professional and calm throughout our delay.”
TUI fly Belgium spokesperson Sarah Saucin explained the situation: “The first technical problem was solved but just before take-off a second technical issue occurred. We were forced to ground the aircraft, our 137 passengers disembarked and were offered drinks, waffles and €9.5 meal vouchers. Finally, the aircraft left for Oujda at 13:30 (UTC +1). Roughly 6:30 later than scheduled.”
After the technical issues, the crew safely operated Brussels Airport – Oujda (TB2641); Oujda – Eindhoven (TB7012); and Eindhoven – Brussels South Charleroi Airport (TFL072F, positioning flight) with the same aircraft.