Chaos at Bristol Airport as flights grounded after A38 crash

It’s thought over 6,000 passengers will be affected by flight delays today

Athena Stavrou,Simon Calder
Saturday 28 October 2023 20:04 BST
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Dozens of flights were grounded at Bristol Airport this morning following a crash on the main route to the terminals.

The A38 was closed between the two airport roundabouts shortly after 1am on Saturday, October 28, Avon and Somerset police say.

A spokesperson for the airport said the crash had caused delay to “passengers, staff, and our own shuttle buses”.

The airport released a statement at 4.50am on Saturday to tell passengers that “flights will not take off from Bristol Airport this morning until 08.00”.

They added: “Passengers flying this morning are advised to leave extra time to travel to the Airport and check flight details with their airline.”

An easyJet flight to Rome was the first to depart after a two-hour delay

With 29 flights that were due to take off between 6:05am and 8am being delayed and 24 flights after 8am already being delayed, it’s thought over 6,000 passengers will be affected by the chaos.

Some travellers took to social media to share their experience. One X user wrote: “Stood in the departure lounge at Bristol Airport - no announcements or information being provided to the thousands of people waiting here. Not everyone has access to X to see their flights are massively delayed!”

Others confirmed “chaos” in the airport lounges.

Delays on departures from Bristol airport have been extreme all morning – with knock-on delays inevitable throughout the rest of the day.

The first flight due out, Jet2’s 6.05am departure to Fuerteventura, was over four hours late. KLM’s early flight to Amsterdam was two hours late, triggering missed connections for many of the passengers.

The easyJet departure to Geneva took off three hours behind schedule, while the airline’s flight to Pula in Croatia is currently expected to be delayed by over four hours.

Some of the longest budget flights from the UK, on easyJet to Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada, are due to depart around two hours late. There are strict rules on the hours of flying crew, and the delay potentially means the round-trips of over 5,000 miles might not be able to be completed.

The disruption at Bristol highlights the inadequate access to one of the UK’s 10 busiest airports. There is no train alternative, although the main Bristol-Exeter railway passes close to the airport.

Shortly after 8am the airport released a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, to confirm flights were now taking off and landing.

The first plane to take off from the runway promptly at 8.01am was the delayed 6.05am easyJet flight to Rome. As of 8:45am on Saturday, 15 flights have taken off from the airport.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: “We are advising motorists to avoid the A38 near Bristol Airport this morning (Saturday 28 October) following a two-vehicle collision.

“The road is currently closed between the two airport roundabouts. We thank you for your patience and understanding at this time.”

The A38 however still remains closed and Bristol Airport is advising travellers to “leave extra time to travel” to the airport.

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