The Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific has apologized after its Airbus A350-900 aircraft experienced a “technical issue,” causing one of the taxiways at Manchester Airport (MAN) to be blocked for several hours.
Chain of events
Cathay Pacific’s issue with the Airbus A350 aircraft (registration B-LQA) caused a chain of events that led Brussels Airlines and TUI to cancel its flights to Brussels and Boa Vista, Cape Verde.
The spokesperson for the Hong Kong flag carrier confirmed to the Manchester Evening News,
“Cathay Pacific confirms that Flight CX216 departing from Manchester to Hong Kong on 15 December (local time) has been delayed due to a technical issue that caused the aircraft to block the taxiway. The aircraft has since been moved and is now being inspected by our engineers.”
“We apologise for the disruption and inconvenience caused to our customers and also for other flights that were disrupted due to the blocked taxiway. We have arranged hotel accommodation and dinners for our customers while maintenance work is being performed. We will continue to communicate with customers.” and endeavor to resume their journey as soon as possible.
However, no details have been given regarding the suspected issue. Simple Flying has asked Cathay Pacific for a comment.
Photo: Cathay Pacific
Simon Lowe Aviation, a Youtuber, broadcasted a video of the Cathay Pacific A350 that was stuck on the taxiway, with other planes such as the Brussels Airlines Airbus A320 (OO-SND) and the TUI Boeing 737 MAX 8 (G-TUMO) on the same taxiway all waiting for the A350 to move. The YouTube video also captured the Airbus A350 being towed away from the taxiway.
A spokesperson for Brussels Airlines also confirmed that its Airbus A320 was unable to be towed back to the terminal, and instead, buses were sent to the taxiway to disembark all passengers.
The frigid weather at MAN airport caused even more disruption
The freezing weather this year has caused even greater flight disruptions in the UK, including Manchester, where heavy snow led to delays and cancellations at the airports.
On December 10, 2022, both runways at Manchester Airport were shut down followed by closures and flight cancellations from other UK airports through the weekend and into Monday morning.
Simple Flying earlier reported that eight outbound flights were canceled and over 20 inbound flights were diverted. Many travelers who had already embarked on their morning flights from Manchester Airport were left stranded on the apron for an extended period of time.
Will travelers face even more disruptions?
Traveling through the UK during the holiday season may be difficult in the coming days due to upcoming strikes. Many UK airports, including Manchester Airport, are set to experience strikes during the period between December 23rd and December 31st, which is the busy Christmas and New Year period.
The UK Border Force guards will walk out for eight days, which could lead to Manchester Airport running a reduced service. The strike could also see some flights being delayed or cancelled.
The PCS trade union has called for a strike due to a disagreement concerning wages, retirement benefits, and job security. This strike involves personnel working in passport booths at MAN airport.
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Hong Kong International Airport
- Year Founded:
- Augustus Tang
- China (Special Administrative Region)