'Stop flying' order on Blackpool's only commercial service

A Van Air Let410 operating for Citywing
A Van Air Let410 operating for Citywing
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The only commercial flight into Blackpool has been halted following the intervention of aviation authorities.

The Civil Aviation Authority asked Van Air, which operates flights into Blackpool on behalf of City Wing, to stop flying following an incident in the Isle of Man yesterday.

Passengers for Blackpool are being offered alternative flights to Newcastle with bus transport provided.

It is not known how long Van Air is likely to be grounded.

The regulator stepped in after a flight between the Isle of Man and Belfast turned back having taken off into gale force winds.

Van Air operated Citywing flight 502 turned back at around 11am yesterday.

On landing the aircraft was met by fire appliances and the runway at Ronaldsway was closed for serveral hours.

A spokesman for Citywing said: "Citywing can confirm that Van Air-operated flight 502 took off from the Isle of Man destined for Belfast on Thursday morning but returned due to deteriorating weather conditions in Northern Ireland.

"Citywing have been advised by Van Air that the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has requested to speak with Van Air following the incident. Until such discussions take place, hopefully within the next 24-48 hours, the UK CAA has asked Van Air to stop flying. Unfortunately this means that all Citywing flights will be affected until further notice."

David Buck, Managing Director of Citywing said, “Passenger safety has to be the first priority and all such incidents are rightly investigated as a matter of routine. We are working with the flight operator Van Air and relevant authorities to resolve the situation as soon as possible.”

Czech-based Van Air, which normally operates Czech-buil Let 410 aircraft has chartered in a Stansted based Titan Airways 737 to operate some services.

Mr Buck said: “We apologise in advance for the disruption this will cause to travel plans. We will do our best to keep passengers informed and would ask for your patience and understanding as we deal with this difficult situation at short notice.”

Initially only today's Blackpool flights are cancelled.

Citywing has said it will contact all passengers. Anyone with questions can contact the reservations team on 0871 200 0440