A business class passenger on a British Airways flight from London to Cape Town has complained of being bitten by bedbugs up to 150 times on the plane.

Mike Gregory, 35, said he had an "itchy waist, torso and hands" after the £4,000, 11-hour flight over the New Year.

"I realised I had been bitten 120 to 150 times," he told the Daily Mail. "I was shocked and obviously appalled by it, I was amazed it was even possible to have bedbugs on a flight.

"This is not acceptable. It means it is quite likely that other passengers were bitten," he said.

Gregory said he noticed red spots of blood on the bedsheets when he awoke on the flight.

He had been flying to South Africa to be with his wife and children in the UK for New Year's Eve.

After Gregory complained to British Airways, he was told the plane had been fumigated since his flight.

A spokesperson for BA said: "We have been in touch with Mr Gregory to apologise. British Airways operates more than 280,000 flights on 280 routes every year and reports of bedbugs are extremely rare.

"As soon as we are made aware, we take steps to investigate, cordon off and treat the seat as necessary."

In September, a Canadian family was bitten by bedbugs on a BA flight from Vancouver to London.

Heather Szilagyi was travelling with her fiance and daughter when she spotted the bugs around her seat.

"I wanted to grab it but they're quick, and it crawled back inside, behind the screen," she told CTV Vancouver.

She also saw more bugs as they were served their inflight meals.

Bedbugs, a relatively rare occurrence on flights, are small blood-sucking insects that live in small spaces and in beds.