A Jet2 plane from the Canaries to Manchester is reported to have diverted to mainland Spain so passengers could use the toilets.
Flight LS782 from Las Palmas, the airport for Gran Canaria, took off at 5.03pm, around an hour late, for the 1,878-mile journey to Manchester.
The Airbus A321, with around 200 passengers on board, flew normally over the Atlantic, southern Portugal and western Spain. But just before it was to fly over the north coast and cross the Bay of Biscay, the flight abruptly turned east and flew two circuits before landing at Bilbao.
The data site Flight Emergency tweeted: “Jet2 flight LS782 en route to Manchester from Gran Canaria has just diverted to Bilbao due to the toilets being broken on board and to allow passengers off to use the toilet.”
The plane landed at 7.11pm GMT and remained on the ground until 9.20pm at the Spanish airport.
Flight Emergency tweeted: “Bladders emptied, LS782 is back on its way.”
The flight eventually landed at Manchester airport over two hours late at 11.01pm. Under European air passengers’ rights rules, no compensation is payable.
But the diversion will have cost Jet2 thousands of pounds in additional fuel costs and airport handling fees.
The Independent has asked Jet2 for a response. According to SeatGuru, the airline’s Airbus A321 aircraft are fitted with four toilets.
There appears to be no statutory requirement for a passenger aircraft to have working toilets.
In 2011, Ryanair’s chief executive said he was considering removing two out of three toilets from the airline’s Boeing 737 fleet.
Michael O’Leary told The Independent: “It would fundamentally lower air fares by about five per cent for all passengers.”
The idea was not carried out, and Ryanair continues to have three toilets for 189 passengers on its main aircraft type.