Bizarre reason hundreds of flights from Spain were delayed on Friday

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Bizarre reason hundreds of flights from Spain were delayed on Friday

Hundreds of flights from Spain, the Balearics and the Canaries were delayed on Friday morning due to fears they might be hit by debris from a Chinese rocket.

Flights from Barcelona and the Balearics were the most disrupted, but some passengers flying from Madrid, the Canary Islands and even Marseille in France and Lisbon in Portugal were also delayed.

Spain’s air traffic controllers were forced to impose air traffic restrictions for an hour from around 9.30am on Friday morning as remnants of the Chinese rocket passed over Spain before it crashed into the sea off the coast of Mexico.

They created an exclusion zone in northeast of Spain including Catalonia and the Balearics, 100kms on either side of the orbit of the space object CZ-5B, following recommendations from the EU Aviation Safety Agency and Spain’s Department of National Security.

China Manned Space Agency said remnants from CZ-5B re-entered the atmosphere at 10.08am, with most of them burning up and the rest touching down in the Pacific Ocean at a point 620 miles southwest of Acapulco.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson at the Chinese foreign ministry, said a rocket’s re-entry into the atmosphere was ‘a common international practice’, adding that the probability of causing harm to aircraft and on the ground was ‘extremely low’.

A handful of flights to the UK were delayed for around 45 minutes.

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