‘This is out of our control’: Ryanair blames ‘unjustified’ disruption at Stansted Airport on storms and staff shortages

Runway at Stansted Airport

Runway at Stansted Airport - Credit: Archant

Ryanair has ‘sincerely’ apologised for today’s disruption to more than 150 flights serving Stansted Airport.

Passengers have reported long delays and sitting on planes that had not moved for several hours.

Ryanair has blamed thunderstorms for the disruption and apologised for the air traffic control (ATC) disruptions which are ‘entirely beyond their control’.

A spokesman for Ryanair said: “Due to thunderstorms in Stansted today, Ryanair have been forced to cancel a number of first wave flights to/from Stansted.

“The knock-on effect of this and ATC staff shortages may cause further disruptions throughout the day, including delays and cancellations.

“Affected customers will be notified by email and SMS text message and advised of their options of a refund or free move to the next available flight.

“Ryanair sincerely apologise for these weather and ATC disruptions which are entirely beyond our control.”

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At 1.30pm, Ryanair said that they had started getting air traffic control slots with delays of three hours or more, adding to the disruption.

“We apologise to customers, but this is outside of our control and we are doing everything we can to minimise delays and cancellations,” a Ryanair spokesman said. “Yesterday (July 30), French, German, UK, Greek and Spanish ATC staff shortages delayed more than 380 of our 2452 flights. We sincerely regret these unjustified delays and call on the EU Commission and these governments to take immediate action to eliminate ATC staff shortages disrupting millions of Europe’s consumers this summer.”

A spokesman for Stansted Airport said: “Following the thunderstorms across the south-east earlier today, subsequent airspace restrictions have limited the number of aircraft that can operate in and out of London Stansted Airport.

“This has meant knock-on delays to flights across the day and Ryanair has taken the decision to cancel a number of its flights.

“We continue to advise passengers due to travel today to check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport.”

Have you been affected by today’s disruption at Stansted Airport? Get in touch: editor@saffronwalden-reporter.co.uk.