source of the following: Avherald.com
Incident: Air Comet A333 near Tenerife on Nov 1st 2009, unexplained diversion
By Simon Hradecky, created Sunday, Nov 8th 2009 16:24Z, last updated Sunday, Nov 8th 2009 16:36Z
An Iberworld Airbus A330-300 on behalf of Air Comet, registration EC-IJH performing flight A7-301 from Madrid Barajas,SP (Spain) to Santa Cruz (Bolivia) with about 170 passengers, did not land in Santa Cruz in Bolivia, but in Santa Cruz,CI (Spain), also known as Tenerife Norte or Tenerife Los Rodeos Airport.
The airplane departed Tenerife again after about 17 hours on the ground.
Passengers reported, that the crew did not provide any explanation for the diversion leading them to suspect, that the crew had confused Santa Cruz in Bolivia with Santa Cruz on the Canary Islands.
A few days later Brazil refused overflight permission to another Air Comet flight, see Incident: Air Comet A332 over Atlantic on Nov 6th 2009, bureaucratic problems. The flight route from Spain to Bolivia requires to fly through Brazilian Air Space unless a very long detour is being accepted.
The flight referenced in the last paragraph above:
Incident: Air Comet A332 over Atlantic on Nov 6th 2009, bureaucratic problems
By Simon Hradecky, created Friday, Nov 6th 2009 14:26Z, last updated Saturday, Nov 7th 2009 16:30Z
An Air Comet Airbus A330-200, registration EC-KXB performing flight A7-39 (dep Nov 5th) from Madrid (Spain) to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (Argentine) with 270 passengers, was overhead the Atlantic about 5 hours into the flight, when Brazilian Authorities denied overflight permission forcing the crew to turn and return to Madrid, where the airplane landed safely about 11 hours after departure.
The airline reported, that they were in possession of all required paperwork to pass over Brazil, however failure of coordination and due to security reasons it was necessary to return to Spain.
Sources in Spain and Brazil suggest, that the air return was the result of bureaucratic problems while payment terms of debt are being negotiated. Air Comet had built up substantial debt with the Brazilian government over non-payment of air taxes and had repeatedly failed promises to pay the debt.
EC-KXB departed again the following day as flight A7-41 with a delay of 26 hours via an intermediate stop in Lima (Peru) to avoid Brazilian airspace and is about to reach Buenos Aires with a delay of 32.5 hours.
The next day’s regular flight A7-39, another Airbus A330-200 registration EC-KVS was routed via Lima (Peru) with intermediate stop in Lima in order to avoid Brazilian airspace, too. The airplane arrived in Buenos Aires with a delay of 5 hours.
I really doubt the crew confused the two airport unless the were so stupid they shouldn’t be allowed outside alone.