Gatwick’s runway was closed twice yesterday after an aircraft burst a tyre during take off.

The runway was shut between 1.15pm and 1.45pm while it was checked for debris from the Air Canada Rouge aircraft.

It was closed again after 2pm to allow the aircraft to come back in to land, the airport said.

Gatwick operated flights using its backup runway, but the airport said delays were to be expected and passengers should check with airlines.

An airport spokeswoman said that flights used Gatwick’s backup runway after the airport’s main runway was closed “following an incident with an Air Canada Rouge flight to Toronto, which returned safely to Gatwick after experiencing a burst tyre on take off”.

She said the runway had been closed twice “temporarily” while precautionary safety checks were carried out.

The airport issued an apology as flights for the rest of the day experienced delays and some cancellations.

“We are planning to operate a near normal flight schedule today, following yesterday’s disruption due to the incident on our runway, however, there may be a small number of cancellations to flights,” the airport said today in an update on its website.

“We apologise for the inconvenience and disruption to your journey and advise you to check with your airline for the latest flight information before travelling to the airport.”

Air Canada Rouge faced criticism for a lack of staff at its customer service desk at Gatwick for returning passengers.

The airline tweeted: “We’re sorry for the long wait. We suggest calling our reservation desk.”