Lufthansa has confirmed that an off-duty pilot stepped in to help land a plane being diverted to Dublin Airport, after the co-pilot fell ill.

The man was travelling as a passenger on the Lufthansa flight LH403 from Newark to Frankfurt yesterday morning when the crew member became ill.

A spokesperson for the airline said the passenger identified themselves to cabin crew, offering to assist in landing the aircraft.

The spokesperson said the person was a fully-licenced pilot.

The flight landed safely yesterday morning. Passengers on board incurred a delay of six hours.

The spokesperson said while the efforts of the off-duty pilot were appreciated, procedures are in place to deal with such an incident.

"It's absolutely normal procedure for the pilot, the flight captain, to continue to operate the aircraft," she said.

"Cabin crew are fully trained and can be called upon to read checklists back to the pilot" she added.