A flight was forced to turn back to Gatwick after a safety system failed in mid air.

Sunseekers jetting off to Lanzarote in Spain ended up with a different sight upon landing than expected as the grey drizzle of the UK could be seen out the window.

The pilot had to make a U-turn over northern Spain three hours into the flight when the pressurisation system - which keeps the levels of air safe inside the plane - failed.

The pilots managed to get one of the two systems back up and running and were able to make a return to Gatwick Airport yesterday afternoon, instead of an emergency landing, with the flight back to Gatwick taking longer than the rest of the journey to Lanzarote.

The Argus: Planes landing at Lanzarote AirportPlanes landing at Lanzarote Airport (Image: Andy Mitchell / CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)

Flier Aaron Walrond captured a message from the pilot to passengers over the tannoy.

The pilot said: "We had a failure of the pressurisation system. We have two pressurisation systems onboard and simultaneously both of them decided to stop working.The Argus: The plane's route over EuropeThe plane's route over Europe (Image: Flightradar24)

"We were able to recover one of the pressurisation systems, and that is why they had the ability to return to London Gatwick."

A British Airways source said the Airbus A321 used for the flight encountered a "minor technical issue" and returned to Gatwick safely as a precaution.

Passengers were put onto a replacement plane which took them to their destination later that day.