Manchester Airport: flights delayed as freezing temperatures hit water supply to planes

The travel hub says the issue has now been resolved.

Travellers who braved the freezing temperatures to get to Manchester Airport faced delays to their journeys after the sub-zero conditions meant it was not possible to get water out to planes.

A number of travellers took to social media on Thursday (15 December) to say they were stuck on the asphalt at the travel hub unable to leave. TUI flights were among those affected, posts said. Passengers faced Arctic conditions with temperatures plunging well below freezing early on Thursday morning - with a low of -11C in some parts of Greater Manchester overnight.

Manchester Airport said that the problem had been resolved by Thursday lunchtime and those who had been briefly stranded were on their way. The travel hub said the intense cold on Thursday morning meant some of the airfield pipelines could not be operated. That meant water could not be supplied to some of the aircraft waiting to depart from Manchester and contingency plans had to be quickly rolled out and put in place.

A spokesperson for the airport said: “We are experiencing a sustained period of very cold weather at Manchester Airport. We apologise to any passengers who have faced disruption as a result of the extreme weather and we continue to work closely with airlines, their ground handling agents and other partners to minimise its impact.”

One frustrated passenger said they were sat on the asphalt for at least an hour and a half due to the problems getting water to the plane.

Another passenger said they had also ended up stuck on the plane unable to leave.

Although the airport said the water issue has been resolved, it does not look like that was the end of the issues for travellers on Thursday as social media flight accounts reported a plane got stuck on a runway at Manchester in the early afternoon. TUI said it would continue to support its customers on flights which were delayed as a result of the water supply problems.

The issues came just a few days after Manchester Airport had to close runways for several hours on Saturday morning (10 December) following overnight snowfall.