Dozens of flights cancelled after Manchester Airport hit by major power cut

Dozens of flights cancelled after Manchester Airport hit by major power cut

Tens of thousands of passengers flying in and out of Manchester airport face long delays and cancelled flights after a “major power cut” knocked out key airport systems.

Power was lost to an area of south Manchester including the airport at around 1.30am on Sunday morning. Terminal 3, the smallest, is restored and running with delays.

But the two much bigger terminals, 1 and 2, have large backlogs and increasing numbers of passengers.

Power cut: Passengers at Manchester Airport Terminal 2 (Derek Flynn)

In a bid to control crowds and get the operation back on track, the airport has ordered airlines to cut out a swathe of flights over several hours later this morning.

The aim is to get passengers already at the airport away, and then resume as close to schedule as possible during the afternoon and evening.

Manchester was expecting to handle around 600 flights and 100,000 passengers today (Getty Images)

Airlines in Terminal 1 include Aer Lingus, easyJet, Emirates, Etihad and Turkish Airlines.

From Terminal 2, the key airlines are Air France, Cathay Pacific, KLM Singapore Airlines, Tui and Virgin Atlantic.

Jet2 and Aer Lingus operate from both Terminals 1 and 2.

The first flight due out – on easyJet to Kefallonia at 5.15am – is now expected to depart at 9.30am.

EasyJet has already cancelled morning international departures to Malaga, Milan, Venice and Paris CDG, as well as flights to Belfast International, Belfast City, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

A KLM departure to Amsterdam – from which most passengers will be connecting to longer flights – has also been cancelled, and many more are expected during the day.

Inbound flights from Abu Dhabi and Dubai were diverted to Birmingham, while flights from Beijing and Bahrain landed at Heathrow.

The Ethiopian Airlines arrival from Addis Ababa landed at Ostend in Belgium to await a slot at Manchester.

The Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt landed at Liverpool.

Derek Flint from Lytham is flying on Jet2 from Manchester to Barcelona to join a cruise that sails later today. He described the scene as “utter chaos” and told The Independent: “We arrived three hours early for an 8am flight but were told we couldn’t drop off our bags. After about 90 minutes we were called forward, our bags were labelled and put into a huge pile.

“We got through security but now our worry is whether our bags will make it.”

Later he was told his baggage had not been loaded on to the flight.

The failure has taken place at one of the worst possible times on a particularly busy day. Manchester was expecting to handle around 600 flights and 100,000 passengers – with many of them departing in the “first wave” from as early as 5.15am.

Under air passengers’ rights rules carriers must get passengers from cancelled flights to their final destination as soon as possible, and provide hotels and accommodation until they are on their way.

The bill is likely to run into millions of pounds.

The airport said in a statement: “Manchester airport was affected by a major power cut in the area earlier this morning. This has caused widespread disruption and a significant number of flights, particularly from Terminals 1 and 2, are expected to be delayed or cancelled.

“Passengers due to travel from Terminals 1 or 2 today are advised to contact their airlines for up-to-date information before coming to the airport.

“Passengers due to fly from Terminal 3 should come to the airport as normal unless advised otherwise by their airline but could be affected by delays.

“We apologise for any inconvenience and aim to restore normal service as soon as possible.”

Ryanair and British Airways flights are operating with delays from Terminal 3.