Fifty flights out of Heathrow – the world’s busiest airport – were cancelled on Friday evening after a computer glitch affected the air traffic management system based in Swanwick, but officials said the system had been restored.
However, the glitch caused knock-on effects not only on Heathrow and other British airports but also on some long-distance flights travelling to airports in Britain.
NATS, which runs the air traffic management system, said: “Following a technical failure at Swanwick, the system has been restored. However, it will take time for operations across the UK to fully recover so passengers should contact their airline for the status of their flight”.
Heathrow officials advised passengers to check with airlines before heading to the airport. Ormalcy is expected to be restored overnight or by early Saturday morning.
A Heathrow spokesman said: Due to an earlier technical issue at the air traffic control centre, flights are experiencing delays and cancellations. There is likely to be a knock-on effect to some services on Saturday because aircraft and crew will be out of position”.
He added: “If you are due to depart today or tomorrow, please check your flight status before travelling to the airport”.