A technical fault in the UK’s air traffic control system caused hundreds of flights to be delayed or cancelled on Monday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.
The National Air Traffic Services (NATS) said that the fault was affecting its ability to safely manage the flow of traffic in UK airspace. It has not yet provided details on the cause of the fault or when it is expected to be fixed.
As a result of the fault, NATS has imposed restrictions on the number of flights that can take off and land at UK airports. This has caused delays and cancellations for flights operated by airlines including Ryanair, EasyJet, Virgin, and Aer Lingus.
Travel expert Simon Calder said that such technological issues are “extremely rare” and only happen every five to ten years. He said that there are backup systems in place to prevent a shutdown like this, but that “sometimes things do go wrong.”
Calder also dismissed rumours that the fault was caused by a cyberattack. He said that there is “no evidence” to support this claim.
The fault is a major headache for airlines and passengers alike. It is estimated that the cancellations and delays could cost the airlines millions of pounds.
NATS is working to fix the fault as quickly as possible. In the meantime, passengers are advised to check the status of their flights before travelling to the airport.