Heathrow passengers face hours of delays as airport hit by staff shortages and strong winds

People travelling from Heathrow Airport are facing flight delays after staff absences and high winds led to air traffic control restrictions being imposed.

More than 30 flights have been cancelled since 9am, analysis by The Independent shows, with others delayed by hours.

Three quarters of those cancelled have been British Airways flights, to destinations including Madrid, Milan, Berlin and Oslo.

“Due to short notice staff absence in the tower and strong winds at Heathrow, temporary ATC restrictions are currently in place,” a spokesperson for air traffic control provider Nats said.

“We are working hard to minimise disruption, working closely with Heathrow airport and airlines. Passengers should check the status of their flight with their airline. Restrictions of this sort are only ever applied to ensure safety and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

“We expect the situation to improve this afternoon,” they added.

A Heathrow spokesperson told the BBC there “may be minor changes” to flight schedules, but declined to say how many journeys will be affected. Passengers should check with their airlines, the airport said.

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