A British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Athens was forced to divert and make an emergency landing in Zurich, Switzerland, after one of the pilots fell unconscious at the controls.
A spokesperson for British Airways said the safety of passengers and crew members was not compromised despite the dramatic turn of events.
The British Airways flight BA640 departed from London at around 8.10am on Saturday morning (Boxing Day) for what should have been a near three hour flight to the Greek capital.
As the plane passed over Zagreb in Croatia, the captain reportedly decided to make an airborne return to Heathrow because the first officer was feeling unwell.
However, his condition deteriorated so rapidly the captain made an immediate landing in Switzerland so that he could be rushed to hospital.
The BA jet landed safely in Zurich without further incident and eventually departed for Athens nearly six hours later.
In a statement, a spokesperson reassured that the plane remained in the full control of the Captain saying: “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.”
British Airways was not able to give an update on the condition of the first officer or disclose what caused the pilot to pass out.
International travellers (except those from the UK) arriving in Greece are required to:
- Present a negative COVID-19 test no older than 72 hours, upon arrival. At the same time, passengers also need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least a day before arrival.
- Take a rapid Covid-19 test upon entry
- Self isolate for 3 days
Those arriving to Greece from the United Kingdom will now need to self-isolate for 10 days.
Upon arrival to Greece, they must immediately take a rapid Covid-19 test and self isolate for 10 days. They will then be obliged to take a new test after the 10th day. If the test is negative, the quarantine ends.
Greece made changes to its Civil Aviation Authority Notam banning the entrance of non-EU citizens into the country that is in effect until January 7, 2021.
Citizens from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, UAE and Singapore are exempted from the general ban.
This list did not include Uruguay in the updated Notam regarding third countries.