Flights from Europe’s third-busiest airport have been cancelled because planes cannot be refuelled, apparently due to an electrical fault.
“Aircraft Fuel Supply, a third-party company that controls aircraft fuel supply, currently has a fault in their system,” a spokesperson for Amsterdam’s Airport said.
“As a result, your flight may be delayed or cancelled. Together with Aircraft Fuel Supply, we we are working hard to find a solution. “It is still unclear how long this will take, but it will definitely last into the evening.”
One passenger, Melanie Beiler, tweeted: “They keep moving around planes to different gates, and apart from that, we get barely any information.”
Another, Dan Krikorian, pleaded via Twitter: “Updates? Going to be 3 hours sitting on a plane. #trappedatschiphol.”
KLM, which has far more flights than any other airport at the Dutch airport, said: “A large number of aircraft at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol cannot be refuelled, which is causing disruptions.”
It has cancelled three round-trips to Heathrow, the last flight of the day to Manchester and services to London City and Bristol.
Many other UK flights are severely delayed, with early evening departures to Cardiff and Manchester now scheduled for the early hours of Thursday morning. Short-haul aircraft can “tanker in” extra fuel, but long-haul services do not have this option.
The afternoon departures to Hong Kong and New York are shown as three hours late. KLM is offering passengers with tickets for Wednesday the chance to re-book free of charge for travel up to Tuesday 30 July.
On one of easyJet’s key routes, Gatwick to Amsterdam, “severe air-traffic control restrictions” caused by the fuelling problem were blamed for the cancellation of one flight and a delay of six hours on another.
The airline also cancelled flights from Liverpool, Stansted and Luton to Amsterdam, as well as the return legs.
At least four British Airways’ flights to Amsterdam have been cancelled: one from each of Gatwick and Heathrow, and two from London City.
Flybe has cancelled two round-trips from Birmingham to Amsterdam, and one from Southampton.
Operations to and from Amsterdam on Thursday are likely to be seriously disrupted even if the problem is fixed very soon, because planes, pilots and passengers are out of position. In May, a fuelling problem at Manchester airport disrupted the travel plans of 10,000 passengers.