Over a quarter of flights to and from UK airports were cancelled yesterday, revealing the huge and ongoing impact of the network-wide air traffic control failure currently disrupting the sector.
According to aviation analytics firm Cirium, 790 departures and 785 arrivals were cancelled, equating to 27 per cent of all flights from the UK.
Heathrow Airport was the worst hit, followed by Gatwick and Manchester.
Thousands of Brits have faced delays and cancellations, with some left stranded in remote locations, as a result of a “technical issue” at the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) yesterday.
While NATS resolved the problem at 3.15pm on Monday, a host of major airlines including Easyjet, Ryanair and British Airways have slashed flights and warned that delays can be expected for many days to come.
Gatwick have confirmed that more than 70 flights in and out of the airport have already been cancelled this morning, while Heathrow has slashed 60.
A Heathrow spokesperson said that “schedules continue to be affected by yesterday’s restrictions on UK airspace.”
“While the majority of passengers will still be able to travel, there will unfortunately be some disruption on some routes, including flight cancellations.”
BA have cancelled at least 60 flights, with a spokesperson stating operations had been “severely disrupted.”
“While NATS has now resolved the issue, it has created significant and unavoidable delays and cancellations.”
The cause of the incident is still unknown, but Transport Secretary Mark Harper ruled out a cybersecurity attack in this mornings’ media round.
An independent review by the UK’s aviation watchdog, the CAA, will be commissioned and delivered over the coming days.
Rob Bishton, interim chief executive at the CAA, said: “As part of our regulatory oversight of its activities, we continue to engage with NATS and once its investigation is fully complete, an incident report will be provided to the UK Civil Aviation Authority. The report’s outcomes will then be shared with the Secretary of State for Transport.
The disruption comes during one of the busiest summers of travel on record, in which airports and airlines have registered record demand for holidays amid a post-pandemic rebound.