A FLIGHT from Gibraltar to Heathrow was forced to make an emergency landing in France because of smoke in the cockpit.

The British Airways flight was originally delayed at Gibraltar airport for nearly three hours after an engineer had to repair two problems with the plane.

It finally took off at 7.42 pm but was diverted to Nantes airport after ‘fumes’ in the cockpit forced pilots to wear oxygen masks.

The UK airline provided a hotel for passengers at the French airport before finally arriving in London 22 hours later.

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Passengers arrived in London nearly a whole day after it was scheduled to take off from Gibraltar

The nightmare had begun hours earlier on the tarmac in Gibraltar when the co-pilot told passengers some tape had come off the plane.

An engineer had to come down from Malaga to repair the problem.

Passengers then boarded before being told that a new problem would put the flight ‘at risk’ if it was not fixed before takeoff.

Thirty minutes later, flight BA493 took off and was about to cross the English Channel when it was forced to land in Nantes.

Gibraltar’s first Olympian Georgina Cassar told GBC ‘it was pretty scary stuff and definitely not something I would like to do again’.

Another passenger, rugby player Jack Eccleston, told the national broadcaster that ‘there were some fumes in the cockpit and that they had their oxygen masks on’.

This, he said, was why the pilot could not tell the passengers what was going on.

Another passenger, Anjali Soneji, said the whole repair process ‘was really rushed’.

She said that this could have been because any delays of more than three hours trigger a compensation claim.

BA has not said whether the repairs were anything to do with the fumes in the cockpit issue.

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