Heathrow still hit by flight cancellations after air-traffic system glitch

Gatwick and Stansted are running mainly smoothly, with some minor delays and some cancellation of inbound easyJet flights to Gatwick

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The Independent Online

Dozens more flights to and from Heathrow have been cancelled today as a result of Friday’s failure of the world’s most complex air-navigation system. A problem at the Nats air-traffic control centre at Swanwick in Hampshire led to a sharp reduction in the “flow rate”. It triggered diversions, delays and about 100 cancellations - mostly to and from Heathrow, but also at Gatwick and London City.

The disruption has continued for British Airways’ short-haul operation at Heathrow. BA has cancelled 33 departing and arriving flights, while some others are operating with two-hour delays.

Around 400 passengers hoping to be in South Africa by are instead waking up at hotels in the Heathrow area after BA55’s overnight flight to Johannesburg was delayed by 22 hours. The aircraft was held up as flights were cleared, and the crew’s duty hours ran out. The corresponding inbound flight is forecast to arrive 10 hours late, on Sunday afternoon.


Some Virgin Atlantic flights are arriving late at Heathrow after being delayed on the outbound sector yesterday afternoon. The airline’s domestic operation has also been affected, with an Edinburgh- Heathrow round-trip cancelled.

Gatwick is running mainly smoothly, with some minor delays and cancellation of inbound easyJet flights from Amsterdam and Copenhagen. At Stansted, the main base for Ryanair, most flights are operating normally though there are some delays of up to three hours.