A pilot flew 80 passengers from Cardiff to Paris then told them: “We have to turn back – I’m not qualified to land.”
The pilot took the decision after thick fog cut visibility to 700 metres at Charles de Gaulle airport and he told passengers he was not trained to land the aircraft in such conditions.
So, they flew the 300 miles back to Cardiff airport – having left just hours earlier.
Cassandra Grant, 29, who paid £220 for her Flybe ticket, said: “Twenty minutes outside Paris, the captain said, ‘They are asking for a level two qualification and I only have a level five. We?ll have to fly back?.
“It beggars belief. I would expect an airline pilot to have every qualification possible, and then a few more.”
The passengers were bussed to Exeter and Birmingham to catch alternative flights to the French capital.
Flybe stood by its pilot, who has more than 30 years? flying experience. The budget airline said: “He had recently transferred from a Bombardier Q300 to a Q400 aircraft.
?He has not yet completed low visibility training to land in such conditions as in Paris.?
The Civil Aviation Authority added: ?He did the right thing. If he had landed in Paris he could have been prosecuted. It?s not like driving a car where you can pull over and look at the handbook.”