Sussex

Aircraft tyre burst closes Gatwick Airport runway

Air Canada Rouge flight at Gatwick Image copyright Paul Waldie
Image caption The flight bound for Toronto had to turn back to Gatwick

Gatwick Airport closed its main runway twice after an aeroplane burst a tyre during take off.

The runway was shut between 13:15 and 13:45 BST while it was checked for debris from the Air Canada plane.

It was closed again at 14:12 to allow the plane to come back in to land, the airport said.

Gatwick said it was operating flights using its backup runway, but delays were to be expected and passengers should check with airlines.

Paul Waldie posted: "Flat tire on our AC plane shut down much of Gatwick and caused quite the response from fire and rescue folks."

He said the tyre was "quite a mess".

'Plummeting' customer service

Air Canada Rouge has faced criticism for a lack of staff at its customer service desk at Gatwick for returning passengers.

Mr Waldie posted: "Full credit to Gatwick guy who gave us an update on our Air Canada broken plane that has shut Gatwick. Nothing from Air Canada at all. Shame."

Jessica Choi tweeted; "Been waiting 20 minutes at the @AirCanadaRouge desk and no one has shown up to help. Customer service started off strong and plummeted fast."

The airline tweeted: "We're sorry for the long wait. We suggest calling our reservation desk."

Image copyright Mike Gibson
Image caption Mike Gibson said: "This has at no point been scary or worrying"

An airport spokeswoman said: "Flights are currently using Gatwick's backup runway after the airport's main runway was closed following an incident with an Air Canada Rouge flight to Toronto, which returned safely to Gatwick after experiencing a burst tyre on take off."

She said the runway had been closed twice "temporarily" while precautionary safety checks were carried out.

"We apologise as flights for the rest of the day will experience delay and there will be some cancellations.

"Passengers are advised to speak to their airline for the latest flight information."


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