TRAVEL disruption could last for days after flights were cancelled leaving thousands of passengers stranded following an air traffic control technical fault.

Holidaymakers were hit by bank holiday travel delays, which started on Monday after a UK air traffic control failure meant flight plans had to be input manually by controllers.

By Monday afternoon, 232 flights departing UK airports had been cancelled and 271 arriving flights, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium.

This equates to about eight per cent of all expected departures and nine per cent of expected arrivals, Cirium added.

The departure board at Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) yesterday (Monday, August 28) showed a series of severe delays, with delays of over five hours on some flights and others cancelled.

As of 7.10am today, the LBA departures board was showing the 6.15am flight to Arrecife as cancelled, along with the 7am flight to Thessaloniki and the 7.35am departure to Split.

The 11.15am flight to Heraklion has also been cancelled, as well as the 2.10pm flight to Jersey and the 3.15pm flight to Malaga. 

Meanwhile, the 6.50am flight to Faro is now delayed until 11.30am, while 7.20am flight to Alicante is not expected to leave until 3.30pm. 

The 5pm flight to Las Palmas is also showing as delayed.

Flights into LBA from Split, Thessaloniki, Arrecife, Jersey and Heraklion have also been cancelled. 

People have been urged to check with their airline before making their way to the airport. 

National Air Traffic Services (Nats), the country’s leading provider of air traffic control, said at 3.15pm that it had “identified and remedied” the technical issue affecting its systems and it was working with airlines and airports to support affected flights.

On Monday Juliet Kennedy, operations director at Nats, said the issue meant the automatic system that provides controllers with details of every aircraft and its route had stopped working, and what happened will be investigated “very thoroughly”.

She also apologised for the impact on people’s travel plans.

There is nothing to suggest the technical issue was the result of a cyber attack, the PA news agency understands.

Passengers stuck in the UK and abroad described their frustration, as some had no idea when or how they would get to their destination.

Rory Dollard, 40, a Skipton-based cricket correspondent for PA Media, was stuck at Bergerac Dordogne Perigord airport in France and was told it may take up to six days before he and his family – his wife Joanne, 40, and children Emily, 10, and Arthur, eight, could return home to North Yorkshire.

Major UK airlines such as Tui and BA warned of “significant delays” for passengers amid changes to schedules.

Rail operator TransPennine Express (TPE) said it is allowing customers affected by the air traffic control issues to travel for free on Tuesday.

Affected customers who are arriving back in the UK on an alternative date, time or at a different airport, will also be able to travel on TPE Standard Class at no charge.

Darren Higgins, commercial director for TPE, said: “We recognise how difficult this experience has been for many people and hope this decision will provide much-needed relief to those who have been impacted by the technical problems.”