‘Freak turbulence’: Eleven injured on flight from Barbados to Manchester

Image Credit: RadarBox

11 passengers on board a flight returning from Barbados to Manchester were injured when the aircraft struck what was described as ‘freak turbulence’ not long after its departure.

Approximately 225 people and 13 crewmembers were on board the Manchester bound Maltese charter airline flight with Maleth Aero on Sunday, and had been expecting to arrive home for Christmas Day.

Maleth Aero DB1975 Barbados-Manchester


Maleth Aero flight DB1975, operated by an Airbus A330-200, was returning passengers who had been on a P&O Caribbean cruise, when it encountered the region of severe clear air turbulence whilst in the cruise at FL380 (38,000 feet).

Flight track of Maleth Aero flight from Barbados to Manchester, showing diversion to Bermuda

Diversion to Bermuda


The flight encountered the mid-air turbulence approximately two hours after the departure from Barbados, resulting in the decision by the flight crew to make a precautionary diversion to Bermuda.

Upon arrival, the 11 passengers were then treated for minor injuries.

The aircraft operating the long-haul charter flight was an Airbus A330-200 registered 9H-MFS; an 18 year old widebody aircraft belonging to the Maltese air charter operator Maleth Aero.

The aircraft was originally operated by the charter airline in 2020, and subsequently returned to line duty with the carrier in August 2023; briefly served with Saudi Arabian Airlines for a period earlier this year.

Photo Credit: Moritz 2011, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

According to the BBC News, a spokeswoman for P&O confirmed the incident saying: “Following freak (unexpected) turbulence, a flight from Barbados to Manchester was diverted to Bermuda on Sunday morning.

“We are very sorry for this disruption to the journey following their holiday and we worked round the clock with the airline and hotels to take care of the guests, and to ensure they get home as soon as possible.”

The flight has subsequently returned passengers home to Manchester, following their unexpected diversion to Bermuda.

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Eleven passengers suffered minor injuries when a Manchester-bound Maleth Aero flight struck severe turbulence after departure from Barbados.
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