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easyJet plane makes emergency landing at Gatwick

easyJet said the safety of passengers was not threatened.
easyJet said the safety of passengers was not threatened. Credit: PA

An easyJet plane carrying 157 passengers has had to make an emergency landing after smoke was detected in the cockpit.

The Airbus A320 aircraft, en route from Liverpool to Naples, touched down safely at Gatwick airport around 7.20am today.

The plane, which had left Liverpool at 6.40am, is being checked.

An easyJet spokesman said:

The plane landed safely at Gatwick and the passengers remained calm. At no point was the safety of passengers threatened.

We now want to make sure we get the passengers to Naples as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, the plane is being inspected.

– easyJet spokesman

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Ryanair confirms flight cancellations and delays

Ryanair has confirmed a number of flight cancellations and has predicted significant delays and further cancellations for the rest of the day.

Ryan Air has confirmed cancellations. Credit: Ryan Air

The list of cancellations, posted on its website, comes amid warnings to passengers that European flights in the next two days are likely to encounter delays and disruptions as Air Traffic Control staff are planning to strike in Italy and Portugal.

Read: Air traffic control strikes in Europe set to disrupt flights

How to check if your flight is affected by the strikes

Passengers planning on flying to Europe in the next two days are likely to encounter delays and disruption to European flights as Air Traffic Control staff are planning to strike in Italy and Portugal.

Airlines are advising customers, particularly those on short-haul flights, to check their websites for the status of their flights, see below for details on where to check the status of your flight.

easyjet will advise all affected passengers on flights into and out of Lisbon and on flights to and from Milan Malpensa via email. Customers can also check their flights on the airline's Flight Tracker page.

British Airways have also re-timed a number of flights to avoid the strike period and have made some cancellations. The airline advised passengers to check its website for up-to-date information concerning flights departing in the next two days.

Ryanair has a list of cancelled flights on their website and has predicted significant delays and further cancellations on Wednesday 29 January. Customers can also check the website for information on how to apply for a refund and how to rebook your cancelled flight.

Strikes expected to have 'significant impact' on flights

The European Air Traffic Control services strikes expected over the next two days in Portugal and Italy will have a significant impact on flights, according to easyJet.

A flight information board at Gatwick Airport
A flight information board at Gatwick Airport Credit: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

The airline said it had pro-actively re-timed some flights later into and out of Lisbon in order to avoid the strike period as well as re-timing some flights to and from Milan Malpensa.

"Like all airlines flying to/ from/and over these countries, we expect it will have a significant impact on our flights during these periods.easyJet would like to reassure passengers that it will do everything possible to minimise any inconvenience for passengers," easyJet said in a statement.

British Airways (BA) have also retimed and cancelled a number of flights to and from Italy, a spokeswoman said.

"We are doing all we can to minimise disruption to customers affected by air traffic control strikes across Europe. We are advising customers on short-haul services to keep checking the very latest information on our website," said a spokesman for BA.

easyJet said the industrial action is likely to continue into Thursday with the French Air Traffic control staff taking part.

Read: Air traffic control strikes in Europe set to disrupt flights

EasyJet: No rise in passengers from Romania or Bulgaria

An easyJet spokesman has said that the airline has not seen any increase in passenger numbers from Bulgaria or Romania to the UK.

Passengers boarding an easyJet plane
Passengers boarding an easyJet plane Credit: Richard MacGregor/PA Wire

He said: "EasyJet currently only flies to two destinations in Bulgaria and Romania and other airlines provide far more frequent services.

"We haven't seen any evidence of an increase to our passenger numbers from January 2014 on these routes."

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EasyJet customer service line 'open till midnight'

EasyJet says its customer service line will stay open until midnight, after many passengers have been left stranded at Gatwick Airport. A power outage at North Terminal has led to cancellations and delays.

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Our Customer Service will be exceptionally open until midnight on 0843 104 5000-Please call to see what can be arranged for you.

The airline has been forced to cancel 38 flights in total today and a number have been delayed.

EasyJet advises passengers to check-in as normal

EasyJet advises passengers to check in for flights as normal. Credit: PA Wire

EasyJet advised passengers to check in for flights as normal "as the situation can improve", but suggested they refer to the airline's flight tracker page for updates.

A message on its website read: "Although this is beyond easyJet's control, we apologise for any inconvenience that you may experience today."

Plane flies through first-ever artificial ash cloud

A plane has flown through the first-ever artificial ash cloud created in a bid to see how a passenger aircraft can cope with volcanic eruptions.

The experiment by easyJet, who plan to have volcanic sensor detection equipment fitted on its planes, saw one Airbus disperse a tonne of Icelandic ash into the atmosphere at between 9,000ft and 11,000ft.

An ash cloud from Eyjafjallajokull in 2010 caused widespread travel chaos. Credit: De Malglaive Etienne/ABACA

This created conditions similar to the 2010 eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull - an event that caused widespread travel chaos across Europe.

A second test aircraft with volcanic sensors fitted to it then flew towards the cloud, identifying and measuring it from around 40 miles away.

A third small plane flew through the artificial ash cloud to take measurements and see how they compared with the data gained by the volcanic sensor detection equipment.

The technology detected the cloud and measured its density which showed that it was within the range of concentrations measured during the ash crisis in April and May 2010.

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