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Airport closure and late arrival led to flight cancellation

Adverse weather conditions at Gatwick resulted in passengers on an easyJet flight on Monday evening being diverted to Malaga and the return flight being cancelled by the airline.

The flight was initially delayed by the weather but diverted to the Spanish coastal airport because Gibraltar’s airport was closed.

MET office staff offered to stay 30 minutes longer than their normal operational hours to get the flight away.

However, this was not long enough given the delays in London.

Air Traffic Control cannot operate without weather information provided by the Met Office.

Likewise easyJet said it had not been able to bus passengers to Malaga.

“This would have meant for this flight that the crew would have reached their legally permitted flying hours,” an easyJet spokesperson told the Chronicle.

“So unfortunately the return flight was unable to operate.”

RAF Gibraltar operating hours are 8am to 11pm, which can only be amended in certain circumstances.

“The delay to the arrival of the 3 Jul 23 Gatwick service would have resulted in the departure being outside of these times,” said an MOD spokesperson.

A Met Office spokesperson said: “Met Office staff offered to stay beyond their operating hours for an extra half hour however the flight was too late to land even with this extension.”

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