Flights between London and Thessaloniki are expected to last about three hours, but for dozens of Ryanair passengers, they lasted nearly 24 hours, as the Greek government was forced to intervene to help.

The fog in Greece resulted in the hijacking of the plane from Stansted Airport to Timisoara, in western Romania, on Friday.

This decision angered several of the 200 passengers, who wanted to get closer to their original destination.

They became increasingly frustrated when the airline offered to transport them by bus to Thessaloniki – a 480-kilometer journey lasting more than eight hours.

The passengers were hoping for a stress-free journey to Greece's second largest city.

Picture:
The passengers were hoping for a stress-free trip to Greece's second largest city

Eighty-nine people refused despite pressure from airport authorities, according to passengers, and were kept in the baggage area all night.

Some said that they thought that the decision to go to the Romanian airport, which is part of the Ryanair network, rather than getting closer, was aimed at minimizing costs.

Discontented passengers made contact with the media in Greece and the government of the country then made arrangements with the Greek airline Aegean Airlines to send a plane to Timisoara.

The 89 finally arrived at Thessaloniki around 5 pm on Saturday, almost a day after departure.

Ryanair apologized for the hijacking, claiming that it was "beyond our control".

In a statement, he said: "This flight from London Stansted to Thessaloniki (4 January) was diverted to Timisoara due to extreme weather conditions in Thessaloniki.

"The plane normally landed in Timisoara and a coach was set up to transfer the affected customers to Thessaloniki, where customers could wait for another flight to be arranged.

"Those who chose not to use the bus transfer were offered accommodation at the hotel in Timisoara and since then customers have flown or used the agreed alternative mode of transportation and arrived at the hotel. Thessaloniki on Saturday, January 5th.

"Ryanair is sincerely apologized for this flight diversion that was totally beyond our control."

The Saturday, the carrier has been named the worst airline for short-haul flights of the United Kingdom for the sixth year in a row.