The end of an extended weekend led to a series of delays for travelers in the UK, who were looking to get back home. Over 30 flights that were supposed to land and depart from Heathrow had been canceled due to adverse weather conditions.
Low visibility had led to arrivals being delayed, and warnings were issued about high delays throughout the morning and afternoon by Eurocontrol. The increasing number of delays eventually led to cancellations, of which, a majority happened to be short-haul services operated by British Airways (BA). Some of the other canceled flights belonged to SAS, Eurowings, and Aer Lingus.
According to a BA spokesperson, the carrier’s personnel were doing their best to help passengers get on with their travel plans, despite it being one of the busiest periods. The spokesperson also mentioned that various teams braved the thunderstorms and bad weather to ensure that passengers didn’t suffer and that the disruptions were kept to a minimum.
The spokesperson claimed that passengers were either re-booked onto other flights or had their fares refunded.
Passengers at Stansted affected
Passengers at Stansted Airport had been affected for over a day. On Sunday, the airport reported around 100 cancellations, which were caused due to a fueling system damage. The disruptions here lasted until Monday.
RyanAir, which is the largest operator at Essex Airport, canceled flights to and from Jerez (Spain) and Hamburg. Passengers on Jet2, who were flying back from Larnaca, Cyprus, and Rhodes, Greece to Stansted had to sit through a 19-hour delay. Similarly, flights from Paphos and Fuerteventura were delayed by 17 hours.
Flights operated by Thomas Cook from Dalaman and Antalya in Turkey to Stansted were delayed by 20 hours. The previous weekend saw Thomas Cook flights from Gatwick to Hurghada (Egypt), Dalaman (Turkey), and Bourgas (Bulgaria) being delayed by an entire day.
At Luton, most of the flights operated by EasyJet had experienced delays. This included both, noon and evening flights.
More delays expected
There are more delays on the horizon as two ATC strikes will likely occur in the coming week or so. Greek ATC had called for a strike on the 30th of May while Italian ATC workers are planning to hold a strike on the 8th of June.
Italian ATC is calling it a “day of action,” where strikes will be held from 1 PM to 5 PM. Though it won’t be a full-day strike, it is still predicted to have a significant impact on flight schedules. Several cancellations/delays have been predicted since it is going to be one of the busiest periods for air travel.
A similar strike in early May led to 100 flights from and to the UK being canceled.
Passengers using the rail link to Manchester Airport were also affected after an unexploded bomb from the Second World War was found near the tracks from Milton Keynes to Rugby. This resulted in several routes being diverted including the one to Manchester Airport.