A Ryanair Flight to Eindhoven returned to Malta this morning after three passengers were missing.
The Boeing 737 took off just before 8am. It circled in a holding position at low level west of Gozo, in what aviation observed said could indicate burning fuel as a precaution not to land fully loaded.
An MIA spokesman said: “This morning three passengers bound for Eindhoven on Flight FR3475 mistakenly boarded a bus which was taking passengers to an Air Malta flight bound for Dusseldorf.
“The Air Malta flight was boarding from Gate seven while Ryanair was boarding from Gate nine, with Gate eight purposely reserved as a holding area.
“Air Malta crew identified the error, the Ryanair captain was alerted and the flight turned back.”
MIA will be looking into the matter further with the respective shareholders to avoid a repetition.