Manchester Airport ‘really sorry’ for passenger disruption after major power cut

The managing director of Manchester Airport has said he is “really sorry” for the disruption that hit passengers after a major power cut.

The outage, which hit systems in the early hours of Sunday, meant that, by lunchtime, 66 outbound flights (25% of all departures) and 50 inbound journeys (18% of all arrivals) were axed, according to aviation analytics company Cirium.

In an earlier social media post, the airport had said no flights were departing from terminals one and two, advising passengers not to go there.

It meant there were huge queues and disruption to baggage processing.

Managing director Chris Woodroofe told BBC News a “fault with a cable had caused a power surge that took down security systems and baggage screening”.

Mr 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 is set to take place.

Those due to fly from terminal three were told to go to the airport as normal unless advised otherwise by their airline after some earlier departures were delayed.

There were instances where some people’s baggage was not on flights.

EasyJet, which operates flights from terminal one, said there were “very long queues” for security and disruption to hold baggage processing, meaning passengers could board flights only with cabin luggage.

The airline, which had the largest number of cancellations, said: “Although outside of our control, we would like to apologise for any inconvenience experienced as a result.

“We are doing all we can and working closely with the airport team to minimise the disruption.”

Meanwhile, a number of arriving flights were being diverted to other airports.

One Singapore Airlines flight arriving from Houston in Texas had to go to London Heathrow while another, which came in from Singapore, was forced to land at London Gatwick.

An Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi Zayed International Airport was diverted to Birmingham Airport.

Among those caught up in the disruption was Samuel Martin, 27, a student at the University of Sheffield, and his friend Matthew O’Brien, 27, an operations manager, whose flight to Manchester Airport from New Zealand via Singapore was diverted to Heathrow.

Mr Martin, of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, said: “We had someone driving to come and pick us up from Manchester Airport who had to turn around and go home.”

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “Following a site-wide power outage at Manchester Airport, baggage systems are currently not operational.

“Our teams are working closely with the airport authorities and are keeping our customers up to date with the latest information.

“Virgin Atlantic flights are currently departing but may be subject to minor delays.”

At just after 3pm, the airport said it was in the process of resuming operations, saying flights on Monday “should be unaffected”.