THE UK’S air traffic control system has experienced major problems on Monday- one of the busiest travel days of the year with the late August bank holiday- with flights to and from Spain either delayed or cancelled.
The National Air Traffic Services admitted that it was dealing with ‘technical issues’ and had ‘applied traffic flow restrictions to maintain safety’.
No reason has been given for the problem with carriers warning passengers about long delays to incoming and outgoing flights.
Travellers in Spain have been left stranded and with little information.
James Hanson told Sky News that he’s been stuck on the tarmac at Lanzarote Airport waiting for his Jet2 flight to take off.
“Cabin crew and pilots limited working hours are nearly up so passengers will have to stay over the night till the next day,” he said.
An EasyJet flight from Alicante-Elche airport to Manchester with a scheduled departure time of 4.40pm has been given an 11.36pm departure time according to the official Aena airport website.
A Barcelona flight scheduled to leave for Manchester at 1.10pm was one of many UK flights cancelled from the Catalan capital.
The problems are especially bad at Palma de Mallorca airport where 56 flights were cancelled yesterday due to localised storms.
Authorities trying to work their way through the back-log have now been hit with the UK air traffic control system issue.
Passenger Emmet Lyons who works with the US broadcaster CBS News is in an EasyJet plane on the Palma runway.
“Our pilot has informed us of a major air traffic control issue across the UK,” he said.
“He just said it was the ‘most unprecedented situation’ he has experienced in his career in regard to UK air traffic control issues,” Emmet added.
Sky News producer, Georgia Ziebert, is in a similar position onboard a stuck plane on Palma tarmac.
“The pilot said that we were not going to be leaving for a while,“ she said.
So far there has been no comment from Spain’s airport operator Aena on the exact impact the UK technical problems are having on flights between the UK and Spain.
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