The “serious” near-miss took place on October 2, when a Ryanair plane, traveling south from Santiago de Compostela to Palma de Mallorca, came close to colliding with a similar aircraft, heading north en route from Seville to Toulouse, Spanish aviation authorities said.
Unbeknown to the respective crews, both aircraft were flying dangerously into each other’s flight paths as they neared the famous bull-running city of Pamplona, near the Spanish-French border.
Coming within just four kilometers (2.5 miles) apart horizontally and just 122 meters (400ft) apart vertically, the crews were only alerted to the potential disaster once the alarms on their traffic collision avoidance systems (TCAS) were sounded.
The aircraft, in radio contact with the Madrid control center, were able to correct their course in time and continued their flights as normal and without sustaining any damage.
Both aircraft were operated by Irish budget airline Ryanair and a representative from Ireland’s Department of Transport has been assisting the Comisión de Investigación de Accidentes e Incidentes de Aviación Civil (CIAIAC) with the probe.
Speaking on the preliminary report’s findings, a Ryanair spokesperson said: “As the details of this incident confirm, both aircraft took appropriate diversion measures when they were separated by more than 2 miles and 400 feet of vertical air space.”