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The Air Force has activated the F-16M pair on permanent alert at the Air Base No. 5 (Monte Real) to watch an aircraft of the Dutch airline Transavia, which declared emergency after taking off from Funchal.

Transavia’s Boeing 737, which carried 149 passengers on board, reported pressurising issues when it was connecting with Amsterdam, having diverted and safely landed at Faro Airport by 12:51. The flight was escorted by Air Force F-16 aircraft.

The Air Force also activated its entire Primary Search and Rescue system in the course of the event.

This is the second time the Air Force has activated the F-16 pair to escort a struggling civil aircraft in less than 24 hours.