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Manchester airport flights resume after more than 90,000 hit by power cut

Thousands of passengers hit by travel chaos at Manchester Airport after a power cut caused flights to be cancelled on Sunday are facing further delays despite services resuming.

The airport said it is not anticipating any “further disruption” for Monday with flights expected to run as usual after 140 were cancelled on Sunday.

But passengers whose flights were grounded would be contacted by airlines to rearrange flights, the airport said, as it prepares to launch an investigation into the mayhem.

Travel expert Simon Calder said around 20,000 people were still either stranded abroad or remained in the UK as their flight had been axed.

More than 90,000 people were affected when the outage hit security and baggage screening at Terminals One and Two, with travellers describing “absolute carnage” to i.

One passenger revealed he and others spent an hour in the dark at passport control before a member of staff told them they were trying to restore the electricity.

He said: “There was no management, nobody knew what was going on.”

The outage in the early hours of Sunday meant that by lunchtime, 66 outbound flights – 25 per cent of all departures – and 50 inbound journeys – 18 per cent of all arrivals – were axed, according to aviation analytics company Cirium.

Passengers queue outside Terminal 1 after an overnight power cut led to disruptions and cancellations at Manchester Airport in Manchester, Britain, June 23, 2024. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Travellers described ‘absolute carnage’ at Manchester Airport as dozens of flights were axed (Photo: Phil Noble/ Reuters)

The airport had said no flights were departing from terminals one and two on Sunday, leading to huge queues and disruption to baggage processing throughout the day.

Manchester-bound flights were also diverted to other airports, planes forced to land at Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham.

In an updated statement, Manchester Airport said: “Tomorrow’s schedule is expected to run as usual with no further disruption so passengers should plan to travel to the airport as normal, checking in two hours ahead of their flight for short-haul, and three hours for long-haul.

“Airlines will be in touch with passengers to rearrange cancelled flights as we work with airlines, their baggage handling agents and other partners to make sure passengers whose bags did not make it onto their flights are reunited with their belongings as soon as possible.”

The airport’s 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” as he apologised to passenger.s

He said an investigation into what happened is set to take place.

Easyjet had the largest number of cancellations, while some people’s baggage was not loaded on flights.

Parul Singh was trying to fly out of Terminal 2 at Manchester airport on Sunday morning, with her partner, heading for Antalya in Turkey when they were caught up in the disruption.

She told i: “I’m autistic, I had a meltdown while on the plane due to baggage not coming with us and had to deplane.

“The experience of disabled passengers has been horrific.”

The 28-year-old said their flight was due to leave at 8:35am but they were only called to bag drop at around 8:15am.

It was then announced the flight was cancelled at 10:45am but a board showed the flight was boarding and the gate was open.

When they got to the gate, she said they were told the bags would not be going with them and staff were unable to confirm when they would arrive at the destination.

“We were told we can either get on or don’t but not told if we could rebook”, she said. “Our flight was so delayed that by the time we landed everything would be shut in Turkey so couldn’t get essentials that had to be packed away in hold luggage.

“This triggered my meltdown and I had to leave the plane before doors shut.”

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