Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson piloted one of the planes that rescued XL holidaymakers stranded abroad, passengers said today.
Marc Cryer, who flew into Gatwick Airport on a specially-chartered Monarch Airlines flight from Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, this morning said he knew the musician was also a trained pilot but was still surprised to see him onboard the flight.
He said: “I think I was about the only person on the plane that recognised him.”
Dickinson, a trained Boeing 757 pilot, is known to have been employed by the UK charter airline Astraeus, although the company’s website states it is not currently operating.
A notice on the Astraeus website reads: “The Astraeus website is currently undergoing modification to reflect a change in company strategy.
“Astraeus Flystar is not currently operating any scheduled services and as such the booking site is no longer available.”
A spokesman for Monarch Airlines said: “It is possible that we contacted Astraeus to get a pilot to fly for us. He is a qualified 757 pilot but I can’t confirm it.
“Even if I did know it I would not be able to confirm Bruce Dickinson flew the plane because there are certain data protection issues.”