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Flight from London to Prague forced to make emergency return to Heathrow

A British Airways flight from London to Prague has been forced to return to Heathrow due to a technical issue, with unverified reports of fumes being observed in the cockpit.

Flight BA854 took off from Heathrow Airport just before 7:40am on Sunday, and had been due to land in the Czech capital at 10:05am.

But the Airbus A320 plane was turned around over the Channel and forced to return to Heathrow, where it touched down again less than an hour after taking off, flight tracking websites showed.

Going places? British Airways Airbus A320 aircraft at London Heathrow (British Airways)
Going places? British Airways Airbus A320 aircraft at London Heathrow (British Airways)

The aircraft returned to Heathrow due to a technical issue and landed safely after the pilots chose to return in order to prioritise passengers’ safety, The Independent understands.

British Airways said in a statement: “We’re sorry for the delay in our customers' journey after the aircraft returned to Heathrow as a precaution.

“Our teams looked after them whilst they waited to board a replacement aircraft to continue their journey.”

Reports of fumes being observed in the cockpit could not be verified.

Footage captured by livestreaming services showed that several fire engines rushed to help the plane when it landed at Heathrow, the Mail Online reported.

It comes as the airline cancelled more than three dozen flights from Heathrow on Sunday, as forecasters warn that Storm Isha will bring winds of up to 90mph.

The Met Office has issued seven weather alerts for wind and rain on Sunday alone, with warnings set to remain in force across much of the UK until midday on Wednesday.

Millions of people travelling by air, rail and sea are set to face disruption, as forecasters warn powerful winds will bring a danger to life and could damage properties, tearing roofs from homes and downing power lines.