Ryanair Lisbon airport
A Ryanair plane taxis at Lisbon airport Rafael Marchante/Reuters

A Ryanair flight travelling from the UK to Morocco was forced to make an emergency landing in Portugal after a pilot reportedly fell ill.

The low-budget carrier heading from London Gatwick to Morocco on Tuesday (Dec. 5) was forced to divert to Faro Airport in southern Portugal's Algarve region, triggering a red alert, according to reports in local media.

The pilot had informed passengers before landing he wasn't feeling well, as per the Portuguese daily Correio da Manha. There is no clarity on whether the captain landed the plane in Faro or if he had handed the controls to the co-pilot. There is no information on whether the pilot had stayed on the aircraft after reaching Faro or been taken to hospital.

There were around 18 passengers on board who were then forced to wait at the airport in Algarve to take off again.

"This flight from Stansted to Morocco (5 Dec) diverted to Faro when one of the pilots became ill. The aircraft landed normally, and passengers were transferred to an alternative aircraft operated by another crew before continuing to Morocco," a Ryanair spokesperson said.

Earlier this year in April, an easyJet flight travelling from London to the Moroccan city of Agadir had to make an emergency landing in Faro. This happened because the pilot was suffering from an "indisposition", and led to an identical red alert being activated before the Airbus A320 landed safely.

In October, an easyJet flight ended up being surrounded by armed police at a Spanish airport - after the pilot reportedly accidentally activated a hijack alert.

Meanwhile, several passengers recently accused Ryanair of forcing them to pay a fee between £7 and £21 to download their boarding pass or face long queues at the airport to get a physical one.

The Irish airline company has a seating policy that involves customers either buying reserved seats or getting free seats. For the latter option, the seats will randomly "be assigned to you free of charge when you check in, between 24 hours and 2 hours prior to departure".

Many passengers recently took to social media to complain about this issue. They claimed if they chose the option of randomly allocated seats, they were told they would have to collect their paper boarding pass at the airport. Meaning, the passengers had to book a paid seat, which typically cost between £7 and £21, before they were allowed to download their boarding pass.

However, Ryanair has denied all the allegations, saying: "This is false. There is no charge for a Ryanair digital boarding pass — ever."