NI flights hit by computer glitch

Published Saturday, 07 December 2013
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Northern Ireland passengers have been hit by flight delays and cancellations after a technical problem at the national air traffic control centre in the south of England.

A computing glitch meant that the night-time operation failed to properly switch over to the daytime system at the National Air Traffic Services (Nats) centre in Hampshire.

Nats worked to resolve the problem throughout the day and operations returned to normal on Saturday evening, although some disruption continued on certain flights.

Thousands of people were affected across airports throughout the UK causing widespread disruption and knock-on delays.

George Best Belfast City Airport along with Belfast International and Dublin all reported delays and cancellations causing frustration for many travellers.

Glengormley man Chris Quinn was due to travel from Belfast City Airport to England with his son to see the Manchester United game at lunchtime on Saturday.

He told UTV he and his son were very disappointed to miss out on the match.

He said: "When we came the flight was delayed until 1.30pm, we were due to fly out at 11.30am, so we had no option but to get a refund and watch the match elsewhere.

He added: "To be fair to the staff, they were very good and tried their best to get all the Man United fans on another flight to get there in time for kick off.

"They were very good, it was just something they could not overcome."

Independent aviation analyst Chris Yates said: "It's going to be a day of frustrations and the knock-on effects are going to last for the whole day because of the backlog of planes.

"It will be a tough day for everybody."

Airlines have apologised for the disruption and advised passengers to check with their airport before travelling.

© UTV News
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