• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Gatwick Airport in chaos as flights suspended after plane aborts takeoff

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Flights at Gatwick Airport remain disrupted after a British Airways plane aborted its takeoff on Friday leaving the runway temporarily shut.

The British Airways Boeing 777-200ER from London Gatwick to Vancouver aborted its takeoff due to hot brakes.

The plane appeared to remain on the tarmac, closing the runway, for some time before it was moved.

The runway has now reopened, but an airport spokesperson said flights were still being disrupted early on Friday evening.
A total of 23 flights had been cancelled, as of around 4.40pm.

A further 16 inbound flights were diverted, including to London Stansted and Heathrow with easyJet and Wizz Air impacted.

Cancelled arrivals include flights from Palma de Mallorca, Nice, Faro and Oslo.
A whole host of flights have been delayed, according to live information on the Gatwick Airport website.

A London Gatwick spokesperson said: “The main runway was closed for 50 minutes today due to a departing aircraft having hot brakes. Safety is our top priority and London Gatwick’s dedicated airport fire service swiftly attended to support the aircraft.

“Sixteen inbound flights were diverted during the closure. The runway is now open and operating as normal.

“Twenty-three flights were cancelled and there are a number of delays due to the knock-on impact.

“We are working with our airlines and other airport partners to minimise disruption. Passengers should contact their airlines directly for the latest flight information.”
British Airways said its “pilots took the precautionary decision to cancel take-off due to a technical issue”.

A spokesperson said: “Our pilots took the precautionary decision to cancel take-off due to a technical issue.

“Safety is always our top priority and we apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused.”

Photos posted online appear to show fire crews dousing down the undercarriage of the plane.
An eyewitness told ITV News Meridian: “Just as we were about to roll onto the runway for takeoff, the pilot announced another aircraft was stuck on and blocking the runway and that they didn’t know how long it would take to clear.

“We must be knocking on for an hour now. The plane has now been towed from the runway and our engines are back up and running.
“Pilot said ‘it’s going to be a bit of a scrum to see who gets onto the runway first’.”