The reason, he explained, was the need to pick up passengers in Bilbao and get the plane back to Zurich before the airport closed for the night.
“We understand the situation is not favourable for the people involved, and of course we regret the inconvenience,” he said.
Blick meanwhile cited passengers saying the pilot had apologised for the delayed takeoff in Zurich, blaming “a lack of qualified personnel”, but said no mention was made of the decision to leave the baggage behind.
Passengers told the paper that no Swiss staff had been on the ground in Bilbao, and that they had then waited for over two hours for their luggage before staff from Spanish airline Iberia informed them that the plane had landed with no baggage onboard.
“Our vacation is ruined,” passenger Carsten Redlich told Blick.
Ampalam said he could not confirm that passengers had not been informed about the decision to leave the baggage behind in Zurich.
“We are still analysing the situation to find out what happened exactly and how we can improve,” he said.
“This shouldn’t happen.”