A Virgin Atlantic aircraft was left grounded after fire crew giving it a good luck send-off mistakenly sprayed it with foam instead of water.
The Airbus A330-300, due to operate the airline’s first service from Manchester airport to Atlanta, was forced to undergo a safety check after fire-suppressing foam was sprayed rather than water.
The foam clogged up the jet engines and turbine blades, the Telegraph reported.
The 257 passengers booked on the flight faced a five-hour delay before the flight was cancelled.
Travellers were put up at hotels overnight and told to report for a replacement flight at 9.30am this morning (Tuesday).
Virgin Atlantic said the incident happened after the aircraft had landed from a positioning flight between airports.
A spokesman said flight was “delayed overnight” as time ran out yesterday afternoon to fly.
“We needed to give the aircraft a thorough check over,” he told the newspaper.
London-based sports journalist Derek Lawrenson was quoted a saying: “The pilot explained that the plane was being given a water cannon salute. Unfortunately someone had pressed the button for foam, instead of water. It clogged up the engines.”
The flight had been due to take off at 10.35am yesterday, with Virgin Atlantic’s larger A330-300 taking over from partner Delta Air Lines’ Boeing 757-200, increasing capacity from 164 to 266.
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