Thousands face delays in and out of UK after widespread air traffic control issue 

uk air traffic

Hundreds of flights in and out of the UK have been cancelled and many more times that significantly delayed following a nationwide air traffic control issue that caused UK aviation to grind to a near halt.

A flight planning issue that meant flight plans had to be managed manually began causing problems for airlines and airports sometime in the morning of Monday 28th August, and it wasn’t long before every major airport in the UK had been similarly affected. 

Although now remedied, as confirmed by the UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS) at 3.15pm BST, the prolonged delay in getting schedules back up and running properly has meant that thousands of Britain-bound flights as well as those heading overseas have either been severely delayed or cancelled altogether.  

“Sincerely sorry” 

“The flight planning issue affected the system’s ability to automatically process flight plans, meaning that flight plans had to be processed manually which cannot be done at the same volume, hence the requirement for traffic flow restrictions,” reads a statement from NATS. “Our priority is always to ensure that every flight in the UK remains safe and we are sincerely sorry for the disruption this is causing… We are now working closely with airlines and airports to manage the flights affected as efficiently as possible. Our engineers will be carefully monitoring the system’s performance as we return to normal operations… Please contact your airline for information on how this may affect your flight.” 

Hundreds of flights cancelled 

According to data from aviation analytics firm Cirium, by 2.30pm BST, 232 flights or 8% of all departures from the UK had been cancelled. 271 flights or 9% of all arrivals into UK airports had also been cancelled. 

Locally, several flights destined for the UK have been scrapped, predominately flights heading to London airports. All flights to the capital until at least 8.45pm are appearing as cancelled on the official Nice Côte d’Azur website. For flights heading elsewhere in the UK, many passengers to regional airports are facing long waits inside the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport terminals or out on the tarmac, as well as cancellations. 

It is a similar story for British flights heading to the Riviera, with widespread delays and cancellations appearing on the information boards of Nice’s airport.  

Although things are slowing getting back to normal, the delays are predicted to continue well into Tuesday 29th August, causing considerable problems for the many international passengers hoping to enjoy the last few days of the summer holidays either at home or on holiday.  


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Photo source: Tomek Baginski, Unsplash


Cap d’Ail petrol station closed indefinitely after falling rock hits car

The TotalEnergies petrol station on the Moyenne Corniche in Cap d’Ail has been closed after a piece of rock broke free from a cliff above and smashed into an unsuspecting vehicle.  

The dramatic cliff side above the Total station reminded one unlucky motorist on the morning of Wednesday 23rd August that nature can be unpredictable.  

A piece of rock came loose, ricocheting down the hill and smashing into a car parked near the fuel station’s car wash. It reportedly collided with the driver’s side of the vehicle, but fortunately the owner of the car wasn’t inside at the time and no one was hurt.  


There is no word on when the station will be reopened, as it will be necessary to secure the area to ensure no more incidents like this occur, but there is little chance there will be a fast fix. 

This task has fallen to the Syndicat à Vocation Multiple (SIVOM), according to Cap d’Ail’s Mayor Xavier Beck and as reported by Monaco Matin, who will determine the stability of the cliff as well as to remove any other partially dislodged pieces of rock that may break free in future. 

The primary theory behind why the rock may have broken free is that the latest round of heatwaves has caused stress in the area. The land, like humans, suffers in extreme conditions, causing unexpected events such as this to happen.  

TotalEnergies, which runs the service station, will need to present a dossier to the Cap d’Ail town hall with a clear picture of how the company intends to shore up the cliff side following assessment of the situation by SIVOM. This could include the installation of netting as well as securing the surrounding areas.


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Photo credit: Engin Akyurt, Unsplash



Watch the terrifying rockslide that’s halted train services between France and Italy

Spectacular images show the terrifying moment 700 cubic metres of rocks broke away in the Savoie region on Sunday and slammed into the protective barrier of a major road, forcing the suspension of all cross-border trains on the Chambery-Turn line.

The footage, captured by Loic Borella, show the exact moment the bolders came hurtling towards the RD 1006 road that leads to the Mont-Cenis pass into Italy’s Susa Valley.

Regional authorities in Savoie said the rockslide occurred at 5:15pm on Sunday when “boulders with a total volume of 700 cubic metres” slammed into a protective barrier along the road that was being used by motorists at the time.

Miraculously, no injuries have been reported. The rockslide was likely caused by the torrential rains which struck much of France over the weekend.

The landslide forced the suspension of all cross-border trains on the Chambery-Turin line, as well as TER regional trains in the Maurienne valley, French rail operator SNCF said.

“It’s closed until at least Wednesday inclusive, but we expect it to last longer,” SNCF told AFP. “Access to the site is still prohibited by the prefecture because there is still a risk of landslides. As soon as we can access it, we can establish a diagnosis and check the damage.”

The Frejus tunnel connecting France and Italy under the Alps has also been closed to heavy trucks, with a diversion in place along the the Mont Blanc tunnel or the A8 motorway.

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AS Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder “firmly contests” rape accusations

Wissam Ben Yedder in AS Monaco training

In comments made to the Nice Matin, Wissam Ben Yedder’s lawyer has “firmly” contested the accusations of rape made against the AS Monaco captain.

33-year-old Ben Yedder was charged with rape by the Nice Public Prosecutor two weeks ago. The alleged events took place on 1oth July in Beausoleil, a town that borders the Principality to the north, after which two women, aged 19 and 20, lodged complaints against Ben Yedder and his younger brother at a police station in Cagnes-sur-Mer.

According to the Nice Matin, Ben Yedder was taken into custody for 48 hours and was released on judicial supervision after posting a €900,000 bail. Ben Yedder’s lawyer, Hasna Louzé, has now responded and “firmly contests” the allegations levelled against her client. She added that she hopes for “the justice system to be able to carry out its works calmly and without any kind of pressure”.

Since the charges, Ben Yedder has continued to play for Monaco, featuring and captaining the Principality club in the opening three games of the season. Manager Adi Hütter announced that the France international would retain the armband this season, prior to the news of the charges.


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Photo by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

Athletics: AS Monaco’s Téo Andant helps France to only medal of World Championships

AS Monaco Athlétisme's Téo Andant

AS Monaco athlete Téo Andant ensured that France didn’t finish the Athletics World Championships in Budapest without a medal, winning silver in the Men’s 4x400m relay.

France looked set to finish the World Championships without a medal, but with just two events remaining on the final night of competition, the 24-year-old AS Monaco athlete, who was born in Nice, was part of a team that ensured a positive end to a difficult week of competition.

Ludvy Vaillant, Gilles Biron and David Sombé all ran before Andant took the final lap and helped the French team to a second-place finish behind the eventual winners, the USA. As well as earning a strong spot on the podium, the efforts of the four men saw them also break the French record (2’58″45).

“I just needed to finish it off”

The AS Monaco athlete had to see off a late surge from Great Britain, who came on strong in the final 100m (2’58″71).

“I’m so proud of my partners. They’ve done incredible work. They gave me my leg in a great position, I just needed to finish it off,” said Andant.

The team victory in Budapest marks the latest achievement in a season that just gets better and better for Andant. The 24-year-old athlete was crowned 400m French champion in July, and his consistent performances will provide hope of earning a medal at his home Olympics in Paris next year.


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Photo source: AS Monaco Athlétisme

Could it be a record season for Monaco’s major venues and tourist attractions?

If provisional reports are anything to go by, Monaco’s popular tourist attractions, exhibitions and sports venues may well have pulled in record numbers of visitors this summer.  

The summer isn’t quite over yet, but there seems to be plenty of reasons to rejoice a successful season amongst those running the cultural and tourist attractions in Monaco as, according to a report from Monaco Matin, “certain cultural establishments” within the Principality have already achieved record numbers of visitors. 

The Prince’s Car Collection 

The Prince’s Car Collection is one such beneficiary, having almost completed its first summer in its new location.

The summer has been deemed a huge success, according to statements made by the collection’s director, Valérie Closier, who told the local paper that the attraction had welcomed “very good figures” far above those seen at the museum’s previous location in Fontvieille.  

“We had a lot of people in July and August,” she revealed. “We had a peak of 2,400 people around two weeks ago. We oscillate between 2,000 and 2,400 every day. We have a lot of cruise passengers – Dutch, English, Spanish and even tourists from Eastern countries. There are also French people, but very few from the Mediterranean basin.” 

The Prince’s Car Collection can now be found in Port Hercule. Photo credit: Michael Alesi

Palais Princier de Monaco 

After reopening in early April, the Palace Apartments also saw an uptick in visitors as this year, with the Prince Rainier III centenary anniversary exhibition being cited as a big reason for renewed interest in the historic property. July alone saw 15% more visitors than in previous years, according to the Monaco Matin.  

The crowds will no doubt continue into the autumn; the new Picasso exhibit is sure to be a huge draw as well. The recently restored 16th century frescoes within the Palace too are proving to be vastly popular with visitors new and old.

Grimaldi Forum  

The ongoing Monet exhibition, Monet en Pleine Lumière, has been well-received by the art-loving community in the Principality and from further afield, exceeding the already high visitor expectations and cementing the status of the Grimaldi Forum as a hot spot for major cultural and art events.  

According to the Monaco Matin, the only other show of this size and scope to have drawn more people was the 2007 Grace Kelly retrospective, which saw 135,000 people pass through the doors of the venue. Final visitor figures for the Monet exhibit will likely be published in the autumn.  

The Monet en Pleine Lumière exhibition at the Grimaldi Forum. Photo by Monaco Life

Oceanographic Museum 

Not to be outdone, the Oceanographic Museum has stated that upward of 176,000 guests passed through its doors between 1st July and 21st August.

Though slightly down on last year, the numbers are still impressive and give the museum reason to be content. Given the wet forecasts of the final week of the summer holidays, many families will be heading for this much-appreciated destination in the coming days so these figures will likely rise further still… Summer isn’t over yet!  


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Featured photo by Monaco Life