School's out: Today is the busiest ever day in UK aviation history

 
Helen Cahill
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The congestion of British airspace could lead to more delays and cancellations in future (Source: Getty)

Today will be the busiest day for air travel in British history.

More than 8,000 flights will take off and land in the UK today as schools break up for holiday and families go abroad.

This weekend, more than 500,000 passengers are travelling from Heathrow, 335,000 from Gatwick and 136,000 people are taking off from Stansted.

Read more: British Airways faces month of summer strikes as union sets more walkouts

During the peak summer period, the UK aviation network will handle around 770,000 flights, up five per cent on last year, according to NATS, the UK's top provider of air traffic control services.

The record passenger numbers come as British Airways battles with its staff over pay. The airline promised to get all passengers to their destinations as members of its cabin crew began a two-week strike on Wednesday.

The most recent action from British Airways staff comes after a 16-day walkout that started on 1 July.

The increasing number of flights is putting pressure on British airspace. The Department for Transport has predicted that by 2030 there will be 8,000 flight cancellations a year due to congestion, and there will be 50 times more delays.

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