Major disruption at Gatwick Airport after runway closes – Sky News

More than 20 flights have been cancelled as thousands of passengers on trips to and from Gatwick face further delays and disruption after the runway was closed due to a problem with a British Airways plane.
Friday 28 June 2024 15:34, UK
Passengers face major disruption at Gatwick Airport after it was forced to close the runway when a British Airways plane’s brakes overheated.
Airport fire service vehicles escorted the aircraft as it was moved off the runway on what is believed to be the busiest day of the year so far, with 23 flights cancelled as a result.
Thousands now face further disruption, with Gatwick‘s website showing delays to at least 13 flights that were due to take off between 2pm and 3.30pm.
The runway was reopened after 50 minutes, during which time Gatwick said 16 inbound flights were diverted.
“Safety is our top priority and London Gatwick’s dedicated airport fire service swiftly attended to support the aircraft,” an airport spokesperson told Sky News.
“The runway is now open and operating as normal. Twenty-three flights were cancelled and there are a number of delays due to the knock-on impact.
“We are working with our airlines and other airport partners to minimise disruption. Passengers should contact their airlines directly for the latest flight information.”
The incident involved a British Airways flight to Vancouver, Canada.
British Airways said pilots took a “precautionary” measure and apologised for the inconvenience.
“Our pilots took the precautionary decision to cancel take-off due to a technical issue,” a spokesperson said. “Safety is always our top priority and we apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused.”
Travel expert Simon Calder told Sky News diversions and delays are having a knock-on effect, with one flight from Dubai forced to land in Brussels after circling Gatwick.
‘Cancellations on cancellations’
He said he’s spoken with a passenger whose flight was diverted to Heathrow and isn’t allowed to get off until they can find a slot to take off from the airport and another to land at Gatwick.
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“Cancellations on top of cancellations have already begun,” he said.
“And because aircraft, crew [and] passengers are now in the wrong places, I’m afraid we will see certainly some very heavy delays and quite possibly some more cancellations as the day wears on.”
Some flights have been delayed by hours, including a Wizz Air trip to Malaga, which had been scheduled to depart at 3.25pm but is now expected to take off at 7.30pm.
A British Airways flight to Dubrovnik, which is supposed to take off at 4.45pm, has been delayed until 8.45pm.
Gatwick is the world’s busiest single-runway airport.
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On Sunday, all flights from two terminals at Manchester Airport were grounded after a major power cut, with disruption spilling over into Monday.
In May, at least nine airports were affected by a nationwide border issue, with Stansted and Gatwick reporting the issue was related to e-gates at passport control.
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