An Easyjet plane is pictured coming in to land in Manchester, England, in November 2013
CNN  — 

An easyJet flight from Manchester, UK to Alicante in Spain was forced to return to its stand twice because of rowdy behavior by passengers.

Two separate groups of passengers were involved in Thursday’s incidents, according to a statement from easyJet, which linked the delay to the consumption of alcohol.

“We are aware that some passengers were drinking their own alcohol onboard and prior to flight in the terminal,” the airline said.

“Police met the aircraft to remove the passengers before it continued to Alicante.”

Flight EZY1919 eventually landed in Spain more than 3.5 hours behind schedule.

The airline said its staff are trained to act quickly to ensure the safety of flights.

“Whilst such incidents are rare, we take them very seriously, and do not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour on board,” said easyJet.

“The safety and wellbeing of customers and crew is our highest priority.”

CNN has contacted Greater Manchester Police for comment.

The UK government is considering changing rules that currently allow airport passengers to drink around the clock, following a spike in incidents of drunkenness.

In February, a British woman who tried to open the door of a plane mid-flight was sentenced to two years in jail.

Chloe Haines, 26, was on a flight from London Stansted Airport to Dalaman in Turkey in June last year, when crew members and fellow passengers had to stop her from opening the door.

Haines had mixed alcohol and medication before the incident, which she reportedly didn’t really remember.

She was also billed more than £85,000 ($110,000) by airline Jet2 after her “extremely disruptive behavior” caused the flight to be diverted.