Passengers in Czechia warned: Flight chaos to and from UK will continue for days

A technical incident involving UK air-traffic control systems has caused major issue for planes flying to and from the UK. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 30.08.2023 11:19:00 (updated on 30.08.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Air travel between the UK and Czechia faces extended disruption after a technical glitch affected UK air traffic control systems earlier this week. British Transport Minister Mark Harper indicated that the issue might take several days to fix. This will in particular affect flights from Prague Airport; the UK is its most popular destination by passenger numbers.

Since Monday, several flights connecting Prague and British cities such as London and Manchester have been canceled, along with delays affecting various other destinations. This also includes flights to and from Brno. The glitch prompted UK air traffic control to resort to manual flight entry systems on Monday, causing widespread flight cancellations and delays.

A knock-on effect on airlines

Prague Airport's spokesperson Klára Divíšková reported the cancellation of six flights to and from Prague on Tuesday, with more expected disruptions. The technical issue has forced airlines to alter flight schedules and routes, further contributing to the travel chaos by altering airlines' timetables.

If your flight is canceled and your airline is situated in the UK or the EU, the airline is required to provide you with a replacement or a refund as soon as possible. You can receive a full refund for the price of the return ticket in the event that your outgoing flight is canceled.

Some flights are flying to the UK at a reduced schedule. A full overview can be found on the Prague Airport website.

Harper stressed that while airlines work to restore normal operations, the repercussions of this disruption are likely to persist for several days. He noted that such a significant issue last arose approximately a decade ago. 

Alternative routes and double-checking

Those who need to travel from Prague to the UK may need to resort to finding a way to travel to France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and finding either a bus, train, or ferry to take them over the border to the UK. Given the summer season and exceptional demand amid the current technical issue, this will likely cost hundreds of euros.

Heathrow Airport, the busiest in the UK, urged travelers to verify their flight status before heading to the airport. Gatwick and Luton airports also anticipate delays and cancellations. The challenge lies in readjusting flight schedules and personnel positioning.

As airlines grapple with this unexpected setback, passengers are encouraged to stay updated on flight statuses, while aviation experts emphasize the extensive impact of the disruption. The incident underscores the intricate nature of modern air travel and the cascading effects technical glitches can have on the global transportation network.

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