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Manchester Airport flights resume after power chaos

Airport managing director said an investigation into what happened would take place in the coming week….reports Asian Lite News

Flights at Manchester Airport have resumed after a power cut caused a day of chaos. Up to 90,000 passengers were affected as flights were cancelled and scheduled arrivals diverted. Check-in and departures at Terminal 1 and 2 have now fully re-started, the airport said in an update.

Officials said further disruption is not expected on Monday and they are working to reschedule cancelled flights and reunite passengers without their bags. Airport managing director Chris Woodroofe said a “fault with a cable had caused a power surge that took down security systems and baggage screening”.

Woodroofe said: “When Terminal 1 and 2 can’t depart passengers for an entire morning there is going to be an impact. And I’m really sorry that happened and we’re now making sure as we look forward, that impact doesn’t carry on into tomorrow.”

He said an investigation into what happened would take place in the coming week.

Huge queues formed when a quarter of all flights from the airport had to be cancelled. Passengers travelling via Terminals 1 and 2 had been told to stay away. Aviation analytics company Cirium said that by lunchtime 66 outbound flights and 50 inbound were axed.

The disruption comes at the start of the summer holiday season at the UK’s third-busiest airport, which has apologised to passengers. Kelvin Knaver, of St Helens, Merseyside, had been due to fly to Amsterdam with EasyJet before his flight was cancelled. He said, “It’s been a mess. There’s such a backlog that it’s going to take forever to clear.”

Many people affected posted on social media photographs of long queues for check-in desks and passport control, and complained of a lack of communication from staff. Pictures and video footage showed long queues of people, some waiting in near darkness.

Woodroofe had earlier said that power had been restored but that there would be no departures at all from the two terminals for the rest of the day. More than 100 flights had been due to depart from the UK’s largest airport outside London when the problems started, and many inbound flights had to be diverted.

Among those affected was a flight arriving from Houston in Texas which had to go to London Heathrow while another, coming from Singapore, was forced to land at London Gatwick. The airport’s back-up power came on when the primary system went down, but the situation was complicated by mains power cutting out multiple times.

Airlines have said problems with baggage processing meant customers could only board with a cabin bag. In a statement, Jet2 said handlers had been unable to load bags on to planes due to the outage. An Easyjet spokesman said passengers could only board their flight with a cabin bag because of problems with the baggage system.

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