Heavy fog and a “minor defect” on a runway led to flights at Manchester airport being temporarily suspended yesterday.

“Essential repairs” were being made to Runway One while weather conditions meant flights were “unable to make use of Runway Two”, a spokeswoman said.

It resulted in the cancellation of a number of flights and departure delays of more than five hours.

Runway One was reopened shortly after 5pm but there were still some delays due to the backlog.

The spokeswoman told the BBC that passengers “should check the status of their flights with their airline” but added it hoped “to have passengers on their way with minimal delays”.

Meanwhile, British Airways cancelled a number of short-haul flights today from London area airports due to freezing fog across parts of southern England and northern Europe.

“In order to keep our customers safe in these challenging conditions, we have agreed to slightly reduce our short haul schedules,” BA said.

“We are doing all we can to contact customers whose flights are affected.

“We are very sorry for the disruption to our customers’ journeys at this important time of year.

“We recommend that all customers check their flight is operating before travelling to the airport.”