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Flights across Europe grounded after air traffic control failure in France

By Mirror | September 1st 2019
Flights across Europe grounded after air traffic control failure in France. [Photo: Courtesy]

Flights across Europe have been grounded and delayed due to a failure of air traffic control systems in France, with some journeys at risk of cancellation.

Passengers have taken to social media to vent their frustrations, with one mum tweeting she felt like she was like "being held hostage" after boarding the flight but not moving for hours.

Travellers on a British Airways flight at a UK airport have received a text message which reads: "We would like to apologise for the delay to your British Airways flight.

"This is due to Air Traffic Control systems failure across France and Spain."

EasyJet and Ryanair services are also among the affected airlines.

Lindsey Crabtree tweeted: "Sitting on the tarmac at Malaga airport with 5 children and a heavily pregnant sister whose safe to fly is about to expire! Lied to by staff disgusting! Staff won’t even serve the kids a drink. It’s like being held hostage. Passengers should boycott!"

Another traveller tweeted about disruption to their Ryanair flight.

They said: "We are being held on our Ryanair flight dep Malaga to Newcastle.

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"Sitting on plane since 6.25am (ES time) not allowed off; told delays is computer system in France yet other flights across the world are flying through France. Stewards on flight on strike and won't serve."

On social media, passengers complained of delays of more than three hours.

Just after 9.20am Paris Airport confirmed there had been a "national computer failure related to the centralization of flight plans" but that the issue had now been resolved.

Delays were still to be expected, it added, and passengers should direct any questions to their airlines.

Ryanair posted a statement at 8.30am confirming the issue.

It read: "We regret to advise customers that there has been a serious French ATC equipment failure early on Sunday morning. Long French ATC slot delays of up to 3 hours are being suffered. If this equipment is not repaired quickly it could lead to long delays and possible ATC cancellations later on Sunday especially to flights operating across France.

"We apologise sincerely for these ATC delays which we are doing all we can to minimise."

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