There are reports of some transit passengers being stranded because of the disruptions that overtook UK airports. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: It’s all getting back to normal for flights from the UK to the UAE, after the crisis that hit UK airports through Monday.

While all Emirates flights to and from the UK are operating as usual today, some flights departing the UK yesterday (August 28) experienced delays due to the situation, an Emirates spokesperson told Gulf News.

A small number of transit passengers utilising British Airways (BA) and other regional flights found themselves stranded at various European airports due to the ongoing situation, according to travel agents.

On Monday, a technical glitch affected Britain’s National Air Traffic Service (NATS), leading to extensive flight disruptions across the UK airspace. The issue, although resolved, resulted in the manual handling of flight plans due to malfunctioning of automatic processing.

This led to delays and cancellations, with the disruption expected to persist despite fixing the problem.

It was fixed earlier Monday afternoon. However, it will take some time for flights to return to normal, and we will continue to work with the airlines and the airports to recover the situation.

- NATS’ Operations Director Juliet Kennedy

Stranded transit passengers

Sapna Aidasani, Marketing Director at Pluto Travels, said, “One of our Dubai-based Business Class passengers who had journeyed from Dubai to Albania was left stranded in Albania during their onward trip to the UK.

“The British Airways flight he was meant to travel from Tirana International Airport to the UK was abruptly cancelled.”

The travel agency was forced to find an alternative for the passenger on Air Albania, and they finally reached London after several hours of delay. (Gulf News has reached out to BA for a statement; a response is awaited.)

Emirates and Etihad, the primary carriers providing direct flights between the UAE and the UK, took proactive measures on Monday by issuing warnings to passengers returning from the UK. Both confirmed that individuals travelling to the UK should avoid disruptions to their travel plans.

Read more

No change in travel plans

Ahmed Soliman, Managing Director of Travel Connections Arabia (TCA), said most passengers with children returned to the UK last week with the start of the academic year.

“At the moment, it is pretty slow for outbound traffic from the region,” he said. “But travellers who are booked to return will not cancel no matter the issue.”

While some passengers may face delays, they are bound to find alternatives as soon as possible as most inbound travellers are expatriates returning post-holidays.

Mehar Sawlani, Director of Sales at Richmond Gulf Tourism, said, “None of our outbound passengers have changed their travel plans. But it was chaotic for inbound travellers as this is the busiest time of the year, especially since it’s back-to-school week.”