Travellers to Brussels had to wait a whole night for a replacement aircraft after their plane broke down in the Moroccan city of Fez. When it finally landed at Paris Orly and not in Brussels, skirmishes broke out on board. Some of the travellers refused to get off and demanded that the aircraft continue to its final destination.
The TUIfly Belgium plane, an Embraer E190 registered OO-JVA, normally had to leave Friday evening, 17 September at 23:50 from Fez for Brussels on flight TB2562. But a technical defect decided otherwise.
TUIfly Belgium immediately started looking for a solution to get its travellers home as quickly and comfortably as possible. The best option was to have an aircraft (Boeing 737-800 registered OO-JLO) depart from Marrakech airport to pick up everyone and take them to Orly, as the aircraft was needed there for further flights. The passengers would then be bussed from Paris to Brussels.
However, the handling agent in Fez did not do his job. No one in Fez knew what was going on and everyone was forced to spend the night at the airport without food or drink. The travellers were eventually able to depart on Saturday morning at 09:00 local time.
According to TUIfly Belgium, the local agent in Fez failed to report that the plane only flew as far as Paris Orly and that there would be a transfer with buses to Brussels from there. A few hours later, when the plane landed in Orly at 12:30, there was an uproar on board. Several people refused to disembark. They demanded to be taken to Brussels by plane. “There was an aggressive mood on board,” said TUIfly Belgium spokesman Piet Demeyere.
Eventually, the buses with travellers left for a ride of more than three hours to Belgium, where passngers would finally arrive around 19:00 on Saturday evening, after a total journey of about 20 hours instead of five.
Demeyere assures that TUIfly Belgium will pay the travellers the EU261-mandated 350 euros compensation.
TUIfly Belgium will also prepare a report on what went wrong in Fez and file a complaint with its local agent, who did not informe the travellers correctly. It is also being investigated whether it is true that the travellers were not offered food and drinks and possibly a hotel.
Source: HLN.be (with some corrections) and Flightradar24, plus data provided by forum member passenger