After a disruption at the Swiss air traffic control Skyguide on Wednesday morning, the airspace over the Alpine country is open again. This was announced by the air traffic control and Geneva Airport on Twitter. Numerous aircraft that were supposed to land in Zurich or Geneva were diverted to neighboring countries for the duration of the obstruction.
Not only takeoffs and landings, but also overflights were suspended for about two hours, Skyguide spokesman Vladi Barrosa told German Press Agency. He could not quantify how many flights were affected. In any case, thousands of passengers were likely to have been affected. Many landed at airports that were sometimes hundreds of kilometers away from their destination due to the detour of the planes. Others waited at the airport for departures with planes that were now at the wrong airport.
Basel Airport, located in France, was not affected by the breakdown, Swiss news site Blick reported. At least four planes bound for Zurich were diverted there and to Milan in Italy. On the Internet portal "Flightradar 24", which displays aircraft movements worldwide, only a few small aircraft were confirmed in the airspace over Switzerland.
The flight schedule of Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss was particularly affected. "The approaching long-haul flights are currently being diverted to various airports in neighboring countries, including Lyon, Milan and Vienna," the company said. It said the airline is working to quickly find solutions for passengers. Geneva Airport advised on Twitter, "Passengers are advised to follow the airline's instructions."
The IT company responsible said on its website, "Skyguide regrets this incident and its consequences for its customers, partners and passengers at Geneva and Zurich airports." It was a hardware problem in the IT network, the Skyguide spokesman said. "We do not assume a cyber attack."
Photo by Pascal Meier