Airline passengers faced delays and cancellations on Sunday (2 September) due to a computer failure affecting air traffic control (ATC) services across France.
Flights to and from the UK faced serious disruption after the IT systems failure affected the control centres managing French airspace at about 1.30am on Sunday.
Although the technical issue was resolved on Sunday morning, many passengers faced delays or being stuck on aircraft for several hours as French authorities tried to clear the backlog of flights during the day, which included allowing extra aircraft to enter its airspace on Sunday afternoon.
EasyJet was forced to cancel about 180 flights on Sunday as its schedule “faced significant delays and disruption” due to the ATC failure.
“This affected all airlines with flights either flying to and from France or going through French airspace,” said an easyJet spokesperson.
“Customers on cancelled flights were given the option of transferring their flight free of charge or receiving a refund. We also provided hotel rooms and meals for customers who required them.”
The airline added some flights from Gatwick were still being disrupted on Monday morning.
“For all passengers flying with us today to and from Gatwick, we strongly recommend that they check the status of their flight,” advised easyJet.
British Airways said flights going to France and Spain had been affected but that services had returned to normal on Monday morning.
Ryanair said in a statement the French ATC failure had caused slot delays of up to three hours on Sunday.