A file photo taken on December 2, 2016, shows Airbus A380 jetliners bearing the Air France livery on the tarmac at Paris Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport.(AFP FILE)
A file photo taken on December 2, 2016, shows Airbus A380 jetliners bearing the Air France livery on the tarmac at Paris Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport.(AFP FILE)

Travellers hit as half of European flights delayed by Eurocontrol system outage

The breakdown of the ETFMS system at European network manager Eurocontrol came on a day when travellers in France were hit by strikes by rail workers and Air France employees.
Reuters, Berlin | By Reuters
UPDATED ON APR 03, 2018 10:19 PM IST

Travellers across Europe suffered disruption on Tuesday after the failure of a continent-wide flight plan processing system, affecting around half of the day’s flights and adding to problems in France caused by labour stoppages.

The breakdown of the ETFMS system at European network manager Eurocontrol came on a day when travellers in France were hit by strikes by rail workers and Air France employees.

The outage meant flight plans filed by airlines before 1026 GMT were lost, leading to restrictions on the number of departures at airports across Europe.

“Today 29,500 flights were expected in the European network. Approximately half of those could have some delay as a result of the system outage,” Eurocontrol said.

It said the issue had been identified but it would take until late on Tuesday evening for normal operations to resume.

“(The) contingency plan will be maintained for the coming few hours until we are certain that sufficient data is in the system to allow it to operate completely correctly,” it added.

The outage did not affect air traffic control and there were no safety implications, Eurocontrol said.

Airports including Schiphol, Brussels and Helsinki also warned travellers that delays could occur.

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