BRITISH AIRWAYS has reportedly warned its pilots about “smoke fire or fumes” on board aircraft after 50 reports of incidents in just one month.
A briefing leaked to the Sunday Times is said to have shown scores of reports, dubbed “fume events”, were flagged up to the airline.
In all there were 50 reports, although the actual number of incidents is thought to be lower.
During one incident in July, passengers started to feel unwell after a smell similar to “sweaty socks” permeated the cabin, according to the briefing.
Travellers on the flight from Cancun in Mexico to Gatwick had to be checked over when the plane landed.
Pilots undergoing training were reportedly warned: “It could happen to you.”
An insider told the paper: “The number of fume events seem to have increased massively.”
A BA spokesman said: “We would not operate an aircraft if we believed it posed a health or safety risk to our customers or crew.
“We always encourage our colleagues to report any potential safety incidents, no matter how minor, to allow us to investigate them.
“There has been substantial research into questions around cabin air quality over many years. In summary, the research has not shown that exposure to potential chemicals in the cabin causes long-term ill health.”
There have been a number of similar incidents on other airlines this year.
In July, there were reports of a “stampede” on a Thomas Cook plane from Hutghada in Egypt to Gatwick.
Passengers claimed smoke poured from under a passenger’s seat, sparking an evacuation of the aircraft minutes before take-off.
And last month, an easyJet flight from Glasgow to Berlin declared an emergency when pilots noticed a smell of smoke inside the cockpit.
Fire crews who assessed the plane were unable to identify the cause.