Two U.S. bound planes were forced to land at Heathrow and Paris this afternoon after suffering mid-air emergencies within minutes of each other over British airspace.

A Kuwait Airways plane had to re-land at Heathrow Airport shortly after take-off while an Air France aircraft returned to Charles De Gaulle in Paris.

It is believed the cabin of Kuwait Airways 777 filled with smoke as it approached the Irish Sea off Wales, forcing the captain to turn the plane around and land back at Heathrow.

Passengers were then taken of the plane while the incident was investigated. It is thought the smoke was steam from an air conditioner unit.

Emergency: The Air France 010 flight left Paris at 3.42pm BST and was over the Irish Sea when it experienced technical problems and was forced to return to the French capital

The Air France 010 flight, which left Paris at 3.42pm BST, was over the Irish Sea between Liverpool and Blackpool when it experienced technical problems in the cockpit.

Its captain turned the plane around and headed back to the French capital. It had been due to arrive in New York at 11.45pm BST.

Both flights were heading to New York’s JFK airport.

A spokesman for Air France said: ‘Due to a minor technical incident the AF010 which was going to JFK returned and landed at Charles De Gaulle but there is no more issue. It was just a minor technical incident.’

The Air France flight landed back at Charles De Gaulle at 6.06pm BST.  It is now expected to take-off again at 9.45pm BST, arriving in New York at 6.22am BST.

A spokesman for National Air Traffic Services (NATS) said both incidents were minor.


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