The EasyJet A320 jet – the same model as the lost EgyptAir plane – had to divert to the Portuguese island of Porto Santo around an hour into a flight from Tenerife.
Flight EZY8704 was scheduled to land at London Gatwick on Tuesday afternoon.
It is believed at least one passenger began hyperventilating as the plane made its descent.
‘At the time we didn’t know what was going on,’ passenger Mike Rowse, who was travelling with his wife Claire and four-year-old daughter Lydia, told the Daily Mirror.
‘We were a bit apprehensive – one lady a couple of rows in front was hyperventilating – panicking.
‘My daughter actually said ‘oh daddy are we going to crash?’ – but she was fine.’
There were 167 passengers and six crew on board the flight as it began a ‘steep’ descent to the island of Porto Santo.
An easyJet spokesman told MailOnline Travel: ‘easyJet can confirm that flight EZY8704 from Tenerife South to London Gatwick on May 24, diverted to Porto Santo due to a technical issue.
‘The aircraft landed safely and once at its stand all passengers disembarked normally.
‘The safety of its passengers and crew is easyJet’s highest priority and easyJet operates its fleet of aircraft in strict compliance with all manufacturers’ guidelines.
‘As Porto Santo Airport doesn’t have restaurant facilities open today, easyJet arranged coaches to take passengers to a nearby hotel and provide them with refreshments.
‘easyJet would like to thank passengers for their patience and apologise for the inconvenience caused by this delay.’
Passengers were put onto another plane that is believed to have landed at Gatwick around midnight.
Many passengers on the flight took to social media to praise the way easyJet handled the unexpected diversion.
Check out: www.dailymail.co.uk