December 6, 2023

Gran Canaria flight: Tuifly’s Boeing 737 Max lands further from destination than take-off

A technical problem forced a Tuifly plane, en route to Gran Canaria, to return to Germany. But she did not go to the departure airport in Düsseldorf. For good reason.

A plane takes off, encounters mid-air trouble, and returns to the departure airport—sometimes just several hours later. This means that travelers are as far away from their destination when they land as they were when their flight took off. This happens over and over again.

What passengers on Tuifly flight X32114 from Düsseldorf to Gran Canaria on Sunday (October 15) experienced is somewhat unusual. When they landed they were further from their destination than when they took off – namely in Hanover. From Dusseldorf to the Canary Islands 3190 km, and from Hanover 3420 km. But what happened?

The plane turned over northern Spain

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 used took off from Düsseldorf at midday and initially flew over the Netherlands, Belgium and France as usual. The plane, with registration D-AMAX, then turned around over mainland northern Spain, east of the city of Burgos. The trip to get there took about two hours. A little more than two hours later, the plane landed in Hannover in the afternoon.

Tui said on its website on Sunday that the plane returned “for technical reasons” and headed to Hannover. “The cause was vibration in the cockpit,” a Tuifly spokesperson told aeroTELEGRAPH on Monday.

I flew to Gran Canaria the same day

The fact that Hannover was chosen over Düsseldorf is easy to explain: Tuifly is based in Hannover and has the best options for aircraft maintenance and replacement there.

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“In Hanover we switched to the spare machine,” the spokesman said. The guests were then flown to Gran Canaria on the same day. D-AMAX is maintained.

The Condor also has to make an unscheduled landing

Incidentally, Tuifly’s Boeing 737 Max 8 was not the only plane of the German airline that had to make an unscheduled landing on Sunday due to a technical problem. An Airbus A320 Condor was struck by lightning en route from Hamburg to Antalya that day and landed in Munich.