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Home » Flights Cancelled: UK Disruption Expected To Last Days

Flights Cancelled: UK Disruption Expected To Last Days

Travel disruption could last for days after flight cancellations left thousands of passengers stranded over the bank holiday weekend.

A UK air traffic control failure meant flight plans had to be input manually by controllers on Monday, with holidaymakers paying the price in the form of delays and cancellations.

By Monday afternoon, 232 flights departing UK airports had been cancelled and 271 arriving flights, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium.

This equates to about 8% of all expected departures and 9% of expected arrivals, Cirium added.

A message from our Operations Director about today’s disruption. pic.twitter.com/C4LWX7VyM8

— NATS (@NATS) August 28, 2023 National Air Traffic Services (Nats), the country’s leading provider of air traffic control, said at 3.15pm that it had “identified and remedied” the technical issue affecting its systems and it was working with airlines and airports to support affected flights.

Nats apologise for flight cancellations and delays On Monday Juliet Kennedy, operations director at Nats, said the issue meant the automatic system that provides controllers with details of every aircraft and its route had stopped working, and what happened will be investigated “very thoroughly”.

She also apologised for the impact on people’s travel plans.

Ms Kennedy added: “The issue we had earlier meant that our automatic system, which provides controllers with details of every aircraft and its route, wasn’t working. Instead, to manage safety, we had to limit the number of flights we could manage.

“Our teams worked hard to resolve the problem, and I’m pleased to say 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. Our absolute priority is safety and we will be investigating very thoroughly what happened today.

“Again, I would like to apologise for the impact on the travelling public and to tell you that our teams will continue to work to get you on your way as soon as we can.”

There is nothing to suggest the technical issue was the result of a cyber attack, the PA news agency understands.

What should I do if I have a flight planned? Passengers were urged by airlines to check before they leave for the airport as their flight times may have changed.

Heathrow Airport tweeted on Monday night: “We apologise for any inconvenience as a result of the Nats technical issues today.

“The issue has been resolved however schedules remain significantly disrupted. If you are travelling on 29th August, please ensure you contact your airline before travelling to the airport.”

Gatwick said it plans to operate a normal schedule on Tuesday, but advised passengers to “check the status of their flight with the airline before travelling to the airport”.