Thousands of passengers have had their travel plans thrown into chaos after a busy city airport in England had to close so repairs could be made to the runway.
London City Airport (LCY) should have opened at around 6am but an early-morning inspection of the runway found surface problems and no flights were possible in or out.
As passengers filled the airport terminal in Docklands, repairs were being carried out, with the hope that services could start again around midday.
An LCY spokesman denied suggestions that there was a hole in the runway and apologised to passengers for the inconvenience.
Keith Gill tweeted: “London City. It’s a complete nightmare. No communication/updates.”
Andy Richardson wrote: “Chaos at London City this morning causing us problems flying in from Scotland.”
Amid a grim situation for passengers, some saw the funny side of things.
Brid Cannon tweeted: “So, nocturnal alien landings leave their mark on runway at London City. Repair crews cleaning up after the ’visit’.”
An LCY spokesman said: “The runway is inspected each evening before we close around 10.30pm and it’s inspected again before we open around 6am.
“Today’s early inspection found there was a need for maintenance. There is not a hole in the runway but there is a surface problem. There are inconsistencies on the surface of the runway.”
He went on: “We have a considerable number of people in the terminal at the moment and we are very sorry for all the inconvenience.
“We would normally have handled around 35-40 flights by about 10am today and we hope that with the maintenance completed on the runway we shall be able to open later. But there will be delays.”
Passengers were being advised to check with their airline before leaving for LCY.