Budapest airport departures halted temporarily by computer failure

BUDAPES - Departure flights at Hungary's main international airport, Budapest Liszt Ferenc, halted in the early hours of Tuesday because of a computer failure, an airport spokesman said.

About 90 flights had been scheduled to leave on Tuesday from the airport in the Hungarian capital, which handles an average of 26,000 to 28,000 passengers each day at this time of year.

The computer failure affected about 15 departing flights, the spokesman, Mihaly Hardy, told Reuters, adding that incoming flights were proceeding normally.

Departure flights would probably resume later on Tuesday as computer systems controlling everything at the airport needed several hours to be rebooted and synchronised, he said.

"We reckon we will launch flights later this morning," Hardy said. "We will only do that once we are 100 percent sure the screening of passengers works without a hitch." "If some luggage stays in Hungary we will send it after the passengers in subsequent flights. The backlog of passengers and luggage is not terribly large; it should not be a big problem."

Media reported a growing crowd of passengers waiting patiently at the airport. The situation was not tense, Hardy added.

"Strikes in Western European aviation are aggravating this situation somewhat, but the problem in Budapest should be cleared soon." The airport handled 9.2 million passengers in 2014, an increase of 7.5 percent over the previous year.

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