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Inverness Airport flights delayed three hours in freezing conditions with passengers reporting de-icer issues

Inverness Airport
Inverness Airport and its Business Park join Opportunity Cromarty Firth green freeport bid.

Flights from Inverness Airport to London were stranded on the ground with delays of more than three hours amidst reports of issues de-icing planes.

Cold weather across the north on Wednesday morning has been forecast for several days with warnings for snow and ice also issued by the Met Office.

However, passengers on early morning flights due to leave Inverness have reported significant delays due to issues getting planes ready.

‘You can imagine the mood of everyone’

Those on board report they were told by crew the hold-up was due to an issue getting the planes de-iced in the cold weather.

Alasdair MacLennan, who runs the Cottar Hoose pub in Elgin, revealed passengers on the 7am Easyjet flight to London Gatwick were initially told there would be just a 15 minutes delay.

However, the aircraft remained on the ground at 10.30am and its estimated arrival in London was pushed back from 8.45am to about 12.05pm.

Meanwhile, the 7am British Airways flight to Heathrow, which was also due to depart at 7am did not take off until 10.30am.

An EasyJet flight on the ground

Mr MacLennan said: “It’s Scotland in March, it has snowed, and nobody seems ready.

“From what I’ve heard, it sounds like they weren’t prepared for it to be icy in the north of Scotland. I’ve heard they didn’t have enough de-icer, or they’ve maybe had to reheat it.

“You can imagine the mood of everyone, the pilot wasn’t very happy either. At one point he sent a member of the crew out to find out what was going on.

“EasyJet has been great though, the crew has kept us well supplied with coffee and cake.”

A spokesperson for HIAL, which operates Inverness Airport, said: “On Wednesday, March 31, delays to the departure of aircraft were caused by technical issues with the de-icing rigs operated by the ground handling agent responsible for the aircraft.

“The time taken to effect repairs led to the late departure of flights to Gatwick and Heathrow.

“De-icing of aircraft is not carried out by HIAL. We are very sorry to learn the delays led to passengers’ travel plans being disrupted.”

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