Plane chartered by Charedi group forced to make emergency landing

Mayday call as flight carrying strictly Orthodox Jews from London to Poland makes forced landing after cabin loses pressure


A London flight to Poland carrying mainly strictly Orthodox Jewish passengers had to make an emergency landing in Amsterdam on Sunday.

The Titan Airways flight was en route from Stansted London to Rzeszow in Poland when the cabin lost pressure and the plane sent out a mayday call, landing safely Sunday morning at Schipol Airport in the Dutch capital.

The passengers, who were on a pilgrimage to the grave of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk, were seen in pictures and videos from on board the flight wearing oxygen masks, praying and singing  Ani Ma’amin, or “I believe” in Hebrew.

The plane’s captain sent out a mayday signal  at 9.43am after the cabin depressurised without warning. It made an emergency landing at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport at around 10am.

None of the 272 passengers and crew was injured in the incident.

A spokesman for Titan Airways said: "There were no injuries amongst the passengers and crew but on arrival the aircraft was met by emergency service personnel as a precaution to ensure the welfare of the passengers.

"Whilst such events are rare, all Titan Airways crew undergo regular rigorous training in accordance with EU EASA regulations to ensure they manage such situations successfully.”

The passengers were believed to have chartered the flight to make the pilgrimage to the tombstone of Rabbi Elimelech, one of the founding rabbis of the Chasidic movement, who died in 1787.

Each year hundreds of Chasidic Jews organise charter flights from the UK to south-east Poland each year to make the pilgrimage.

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