A Ryanair flight was forced to make an unscheduled stopover after a drunk passenger suffered a hysterical breakdown and labelled one of the stewardesses a "devil".

Ryanair flight FR7063 was on its way from the popular tourist resort of Alicante in Spain to Dublin on 10 January when a woman started screaming and stomping her feet as two flight attendants tried to calm her down.

Footage taken by a fellow passenger shows the passenger, who remains unidentified, refusing to take her seat while screaming "You're a devil! She's a devil!," at a member of the cabin crew.

The passenger repeatedly sits down and gets up again, while, over the intercom, the pilot pleads with her to remain calm and to take her seat.

"This woman must have been absolutely drunk when she got the plane. I can't believe they let her on in the first place," a passenger who filmed the incident told the Sun.

"As soon as the flight was taking off she started up saying she needed to go to the toilet and then her husband needed to go but the stewardess was telling her to sit down.

"When the stewardess was trying to make her way through with the trolley, she kept standing in the way and shouting 'don't look at me' at other passengers."

She "got progressively worse" and became more aggressive towards the flight attendants, said witnesses.

"Her husband was just sat there the whole time not doing anything to stop her or calm her down like you think he would do," the passenger added.

"It's terrible because some people might have missed connecting flights out of Dublin because of their antics. It's so selfish."

The captain was forced to land in Santander a third of the way into the three-hour flight. The aircraft took off an hour later after the couple had disembarked.

They face a potentially hefty fine for breaching air security. The Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency will determine the amount.

A spokesman for the Civil Guard said the couple were aggressive and looked like they had been arguing violently after having too much to drink.

Ryanair insisted that the issue highlighted the need to limit alcohol consumption at airports. Over the last two years 442 people have been arrested for drunken behaviour at airports and on flights.

Air rage incidents

"We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time. The safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority," said a spokesman.

"This is exactly why we are calling for significant changes to prohibit the sale of alcohol at airports, such as a two-drink limit per passenger and no alcohol sales before 10am.

"It's incumbent on the airports to introduce these preventative measures to curb excessive drinking and the problems it creates, rather than allowing passengers to drink to excess before their flights."

Earlier this month, the Mirror reported that the Home Office was looking to close a loophole which allows pubs and bars in British airports to sell alcohol outside the usual licensing laws.

Airports are exempt from the Licensing Act 2003, which regulates the sale and supply of alcohol and opening hours for licensed premises. The exemption allows passengers to buy drinks at selected premises at any time of the day, even before an early flight.