LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters) – Britain’s National Air Traffic Service (NATS) was hit by a technical drawback for a number of hours on Monday, inflicting widespread disruption to flights in UK airspace that it stated would continue for a while despite the fact that the issue was fixed.
The air traffic management company earlier had to limit the circulate of plane when its computerized processing of flight plans malfunctioned, requiring them to be dealt with manually and inflicting flight delays and cancellations.
“It was fixed earlier on this afternoon. However, it will take some time for flights to return to normal, and we will continue to work with the airlines and the airports to recover the situation,” NATS Operations Director Juliet Kennedy stated in a video posted on its web site.
“Our absolute priority is safety and we will be investigating very thoroughly what happened today.”
British Transport Minister Mark Harper stated he was working with NATS to assist it handle affected flights and help passengers.
Irish air traffic management supplier AirNav Ireland earlier stated the issue, which struck throughout a public vacation in elements of Britain, was leading to “significant delays for flights across Europe that are travelling to, from or through UK airspace”.
A spokesperson for London Heathrow, the busiest hub in western Europe, stated schedules would stay considerably disrupted for the remainder of the day.
“We ask passengers to only travel to the airport if their flight is confirmed as still operating. Teams across Heathrow are working as hard as they can to minimise the knock-on impacts and assist those whose journeys have been affected,” the spokesperson stated.
British Airways stated its flights have been severely disrupted and it had made “significant changes” to its schedule, whereas different airways, together with Ryanair, stated some flights to and from the UK can be delayed or cancelled.
Manchester Airport, London Stansted and London Gatwick have been among the many many UK airports that warned of delays and cancellations, whereas Dublin Airport stated the issue affected some flights into and out of the Irish capital.
Many passengers earlier took to social media to say they have been caught on planes on the tarmac ready to take off, or being held in airport buildings in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Israel and elsewhere on what’s a historically busy journey day as the varsity holidays draw to an in depth.
Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, extra reporting by Mitch Phillips; Editing by Louise Heavens, Jason Neely, Alison Williams, Alex Richardson and Cynthia Osterman
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