Major disruption as plane incident sees flights cancelled and diverted at Bristol Airport
PUBLISHED: 15:23 22 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:26 22 December 2017
Christmas travel plans have been thrown into disarray for thousands of passengers today (Friday) after flights were cancelled and diverted at Bristol Airport following an incident which saw a plane leave the runway.
The Embraer 145 craft – bmi flight BM1822 – landed safely at 11.36am at the conclusion of its flight from Frankfurt, but went off the runway while taxiing.
None of the 22 passengers were injured, and all disembarked as normal, though the emergency services attended ‘as a precaution’.
An investigation has since been launched into the cause of the incident, though an airport spokesman has said they are ‘confident that it was not related to the low visibility conditions currently being experienced’.
However, the runway has since been closed to allow investigators to assess the circumstances of the incident, and for the aircraft to be towed to a stand and for any debris to be cleared from the runway.
This has seen a number of flights cancelled or diverted to other airports.
Peter Simpson, chief executive of bmi, said: “bmi is aware that many passengers and airlines have seen disruptions to their journeys to and from Bristol Airport today as a result of an incident this morning.
“The investigation into what happened to flight BM1822 after landing is continuing and we are working closely with Bristol Airport and the services to ensure the airport can return to normal as soon as possible.
“We understand that at Christmas, delays and cancellations can be very distressing for those travelling to see friends and family and we empathise with everyone affected.”
Another airline, easyJet, has also confirmed its services have been affected.
Its spokesman said: “easyJet can confirm that due to the closure of Bristol airport’s runway, easyJet will be cancelling and diverting a number of flights in and out of Bristol today.
“easyJet advises passengers travelling to and from Bristol today to regularly check SMS, the easyJet website and our Flight Tracker app, where we will provide regular updates.
“easyJet is working hard to minimise disruption for passengers, providing hotel accommodation and alternative transport where it is possible. For passengers who source their own alternative transport, easyJet will reimburse the cost.
“The safety and wellbeing of passengers is always easyJet’s priority.
“We would like to thank passengers for their understanding and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
And the airport too has issued a statement via social media, advising passengers to check whether their flights are affected.
The statement said: “We thank passengers for their patience while we continue to work to resume operations as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, all passengers are advised to contact their airline to obtain the latest flight information. Additional staff are on hand in the terminal to assist passengers.”
No timescale has yet been offered for when the runway may reopen.