Chaos at Gatwick as main runway is closed by a pothole: Passengers face hours or delays after dozens of flights were cancelled after damage was spotted
After a pothole on a runaway at Gatwick Airport, dozens of flights were cancelled and passengers were waiting hours for the delays.
Dozens of flights were cancelled and the passenger was waiting a lot of time (hours).
The engineers specialists were investigating the problematic of the damage took the decision to close the runway, the busiest in the world, at 3.48pm on Sunday.
Finally, 19 flights coming from everywhere also Istanbul, Vienna or Madeira were diverted to other Airports and the rest were all cancelled.
People who were flying from Malaga and Madeira were touched down to Bornemouth while flights from Heraklion, Crete, operated by both British Airways and easyJet, touched down at Stansted.
Dozens of flights were cancelled and passengers faced hours of delays after a pothole opened up on a runway at Gatwick Airport (pictured, stock photo)
Gatwick has a smaller, spare runway to the north of the main runway which is only used in emergencies, and it was opened to departures and arrivals at 4.35pm to help clear the backlog of flights.
Among the worst-affected were passengers on BA’s route from Gatwick to Lima in Peru, who were already delayed before the runway closure and faced arriving in the Peruvian capital at 2am this morning rather than 6.30pm last night.
The main runway reopened just after 7pm but many passengers were delayed for hours and those inside the airport posted pictures of chaotic scenes on social media.
Frustrated travellers complained of a lack of information from airport staff.
Christopher Morgan, who was meant to be flying home to Marseille, told the Daily Mail: ‘There are hundreds of flights being stopped, apparently the reason being is that there’s a hole in the runway.
‘I’m waiting to fly to Marseille but I’m not being allowed into the departure gates. We’re all just waiting.
‘I reckon at least 50 flights have been affected. We’re not being told anything. It’s chaos. Everyone is walking around not knowing what to do or what’s happening.
‘My flight was meant to be taking off now but it has been cancelled. All the flights to Marseille have been cancelled. I assume that all the flights have been cancelled.
‘I don’t think I’ll be able to fly tonight. I’m waiting to go through security and then try and get hold of my bag.
‘This is an airport that wants to build another runway but they can’t even manage two. It’s so ironic.’
Other passengers waiting for the Marseille flight were Irish football fans waiting to catch a flight for tomorrow’s Euro 2016 fixture against Sweden.
John Finn wrote on Twitter: ‘Hundreds of Irish fans left stranded in Gatwick. Shambles of a service.’
The pothole (stock photo) opened up on the runway and officials at Gatwick Airport made a decision to close it
People also reported how planes flying back to Gatwick from abroad were kept standing on the tarmac for hours at their departure airports.
Zoe Harrington, who was on a BA flight being diverted to Bournemouth said it had been ‘stuck on the tarmac’ for four hours.
‘Food and water running out! Kids not happy,’ she said.
On Sunday night easyJet, one of Gatwick’s main airlines, reported that eight of its flights had been diverted while 28 flights had been cancelled.
A spokeswoman said: ‘easyJet can confirm that as a result of the runway being closed at London Gatwick eight flights scheduled to arrive at London Gatwick diverted to alternate airports.
‘easyJet has also cancelled 28 flights scheduled to depart London Gatwick.
‘The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority.’
She added: ‘Affected customers can change their flight free of charge or receive the refund.
‘While the circumstances are outside of the airline’s control, easyJet apologises for any inconvenience caused.’
A spokesperson for Gatwick airport confirmed that the runway re-opened at 7.20pm on Sunday.
They said: ‘Our main runway was temporarily closed at 15.48 while we investigated a reported issue. We switched our operation to the Northern Runway to keep flights departing and arriving from Gatwick.
‘The safety and security of our airport and passengers is our number one priority, but we’d like to apologise to passengers impacted.’