British tourists to face ‘annoying delays’ on flights to Spain, Canary Islands, Portugal

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British tourists heading off for some sun this year could face flight delays. Chaos is expected on flights to destinations such as Spain, the Canary Islands and Portugal.

The delays will be due to a new air traffic control system being launched by France which will mean some flights have to be diverted.

Flights will be diverted over German skies leading to an unprecedented amount of aircraft in the area.

Dirk Mahns, from the German air navigation service (DFS) said travellers can expect delays, flight time changes and diversions.

He said: “Our aim is to keep these delays to a minimum. We are in close contact with our European partners in this endeavour.

“No country can deal with the current traffic situation on its own; it can only be done together.”

Passengers are expected to face delays for several months due to the increased traffic over Germany.

Aviation consultant and director of JLS Consulting, John Strickland, said: “There could be annoying delays, half an hour or so, but delays seem to be a likely impact of traffic being routed out of French airspace into German or Polish airspace.

“This will affect flights out of the UK going down to places like Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands, some parts of Italy, and so on.

“This is where there could be delays caused. But there is no safety risk.”

Passengers will not be at risk from the diversions although the delays could be “annoying” for holidaymakers.

British tourists have already facedissues at airports this year, with many dealing with huge queues at Manchester airport.

Some passengers complained of queues of more than two hours at the airport’s security zone.

British Airways passengers at Heathrow also faced chaos earlier this year after the airline had a technical failure.

Some flights were cancelled while many others faced delays during the BA technical chaos.

Last summer, British tourists faced long delays at several major holiday destinations due to lengthy queues.

Tourists at Gran Canaria airport had to wait for hours in some cases due to chaos at Covid health check and passport stations.

In some destinations, British tourists have reported having to wait longer in non-EU queues at passport control.

Long haul passengers may also find flight times increased this year due to airlines avoiding airspace over Ukraine and Russia.

Many airlines, including British Airways, are banned from flying in Russian airspace. The Russian invasion has led to several airlines being banned.

The Russian carrier, Aeroflot, is banned from UK airspace as well as from many other European countries.

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