Cathay Pacific apologises after blocking Manchester taxiway for hours, causing the cancellation of Brussels Airlines and TUI flights

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Cathay Pacific has apologised after a technical issue with one of its planes, an Airbus A350-900 registered B-LQA, led to it blocking a taxiway at Manchester Airport for several hours on Thursday, 15 December. The knock-on effect meant that Brussels Airlines flight SN2174 to Brussels (Airbus A320 OO-SND) and a TUI flight BY366 to Boa Vista, Cape Verde (Boeing 737 MAX 8 G-TUMO), both had to be cancelled as they were stuck behind the Cathay Pacific aircraft, that had been due to fly to Hong Kong as flight CX216.

A spokesman for the airline said: “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 endeavour to resume their journey as soon as possible.”

Brussels Airlines said that passengers embarking in Brussels have since flown home, while passengers travelling to Brussels on connecting flights have been rebooked on other services. “A Cathay Pacific aircraft was indeed blocking the runway due to technical issues which meant our aircraft OO-SND (flight SN2174) was also blocked for several hours on the Manchester runway yesterday 15 December,” a Brussels Airline spokesperson said.

Due to UK Safety Regulations, it wasn’t possible to get towed back to the terminal. Instead, our passengers had to wait for buses sent to the taxiway to disembark them.

“Despite the difficult situation, we did our utmost best to find solutions for all our passengers. The passengers with connecting flights were rebooked on other flights. Only the ones having Brussels as final destination left with our own flight to Brussels in the evening.

Brussels Airlines flight SN2174 eventually left for Brussels at 20:22 instead of 11:10.

The Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 was ferried to Hong Kong the next day, 16 December, as flight CPA216D

Source: Manchester Evening Standard, Flightradar24

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