Airlines avoid British airport due to runway worries

Nine airlines have decided not to fly into to Bristol International Airport because of concerns about the safety of its runway, officials said Saturday. Nearly 100 flights will be diverted to other airports on Saturday, and 28 flights are to be canceled, the airport said in a statement. The nine airlines - easyJet, BA Connect, XL, Thomsonfly, Thomas Cook, Balkan Airlines, First Choice, Air Malta and SN Brussels - are worried about the reliability of the runway in wet conditions. The airport's Web site said that other airlines, including Continental, KLM, and Ryanair, are continuing to fly into Bristol, which is about 190 kilometers west of London. Concerns about the runway began after the airport began resurfacing work in November. "Over the past 24 hours we have been working with our airline partners to find an acceptable way forward," said Tony Hallwood, the airport's aviation development director. "We wish to reassure passengers that every effort is being made to ensure to that a normal service is resumed at Bristol International as soon as possible. The safety of our passengers is, as always, of paramount concern."