A British Airways Airbus A320-200, registration G-GATK performing flight BA-2552 from London Gatwick,EN (UK) to Heraklion (Greece), was enroute at FL350 about 70nm southeast of Paris (France) about 40 minutes into the flight when the crew decided to turn around and return to Gatwick due to an unbearable stench on board of the aircraft reminiscent of Cannabis, a number of cabin crew reported feeling ill as result of the stench. The aircraft descended to FL100 for the way back and landed safely back on Gatwick’s runway 26L about 50 minutes after turning around.
The airline reported that the aircraft due to an unidentified strong smell in the cabin adding that no evidence of Cannabis or Cannabis based products was found on board.
Passengers having been to Amsterdam reported the odour in the cabin, in particular in the back of the cabin, could not be mistaken for anything else but Cannabis.
A replacement A320-200 registration G-GATN departed about 4 hours after landing and reached Heraklion with a delay of 5.5 hours.
The occurrence aircraft remained on the ground for 22 hours, then resumed service.
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