British airline easyJet offloads 19 passengers as plane is seen ‘too heavy to take off’
An easyJet flight from Lanzarote to Liverpool was delayed on Wednesday, 5 July, as it was deemed “too heavy to take off”, with 19 passengers forced to disembark.
The flight, scheduled to take off at around 9.45pm, was delayed due to poor weather and the aircraft’s weight.
It eventually left the Spanish island around 11.30pm, after passengers were asked to volunteer to “choose not to fly”.
In a video sent to the Liverpool Echo by someone on board the flight, the pilot can be heard explaining the situation.
He says: “Because there are so many of you it’s a pretty heavy aircraft. That heavy aircraft combined with a fairly short runway and some winds, which aren’t particularly favourable at the moment, mean that with the current unfavourable conditions here in Lanzarote, the aircraft is too heavy to depart.
“With safety as our number one priority, there is no way, with the current wind conditions, that we could get this aircraft airborne. There are a number of factors – it’s very hot, the wind isn’t fantastic, the direction isn’t great.
“Now, you might be wondering what happens next and that’s what I’ve come in here to say. I have spoken with our operations team and the one way to solve a problem with a heavy aircraft is to make it slightly lighter.
“If possible, I would like to ask up to 20 volunteers to choose not to fly to Liverpool tonight. If anyone wants to volunteer there will be an incentive. The current number we’ve been quoted by easyJet is up to €500 per passenger who is willing to not fly tonight.”
The Daily Mirror reported that, according to easyJet’s flight tracker, the flight was delayed due to “poor weather conditions in Lanzarote”. It arrived at Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport at around 3am on 6 July.
In a statement to The Independent, an easyJet spokesperson said: “easyJet can confirm that 19 passengers on flight EZY3364 from Lanzarote to Liverpool yesterday evening volunteered to travel on a later flight as a result of the aircraft being over the weight limits for the weather conditions. This is a routine operational decision in these circumstances and weight restrictions are in place for all airlines for safety reasons.
“In the event that a flight would exceed weight limits, we ask for passengers to volunteer to transfer to a later flight free of charge, which is what happened on this occasion, and volunteers are provided with compensation in line with regulations.
“The safety and welfare of our passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority.”