Precautionary landing of a Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330 disrupts air traffic at London Gatwick

Example image of a Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330 (G-VINE) © Magnus Manske via Wikimedia

This morning (31 August), the single runway (*) at London Gatwick was closed between 06:30 and 07:00 (UTC +1) after a precautionary landing of a Virgin Atlantic Airbus A332 (G-VWND) and after another pilot reported debris on the runway. According to a Virgin Atlantic spokesman, the aircraft was coming in from Antigua as VS34 and had a technical issue (**) but landed safely at Gatwick. has learned that the aircraft had a steering problem.

According to flightradar24-data the aircraft first approached runway 08R around 05:50 but went into a holding pattern for twenty minutes before safely landing at 06:28.

A runway inspection was required after the landing of the A330 and the runway reopened around 07:00 (all times UTC +1) with the departure of TUI flight BY4524. Some aircraft were forced to divert to London Heathrow.

The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority and after landing safely the aircraft was taken to the gate as normal. The runway was inspected after landing and has now reopened,” a spokesman said.

The precautionary landing had a snowball effect for flights departing at the airport, some passengers started ranting on social media as their flight got delayed. Delays are expected until the early afternoon.

(*) Gatwick operates as a single-runway airport although it has two runways; the northern runway (08L/26R) can only be used when the main runway (08R/26L) is out of use for any reason. (source wikipedia)

(**) has learned that the aircraft had a steering problem.


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