Runways at two locations in the UK have been affected by the country’s heatwave, while a fire has broken out near Athens airport in Greece.  

Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) has stopped flights at the Brize Norton air base (BZZ) after the runway melted, Sky News reported, while the runway at Luton airport (LTN) is “unavailable” according to network manager Eurocontrol.  

Sky News cited a military source as saying “the runway has melted” at Brize Norton, the RAF’s largest air base. 

The Ministry of Defence said the RAF was using alternative airfields: "During this period of extreme temperature flight safety remains the RAF’s top priority, so aircraft are using alternative airfields in line with a long-established plan. This means there is no impact on RAF operations."  

At Luton, which is a big base for budget carrier easyJet, Eurocontrol said the runway was not available between 1425-1830 UTC “due to overheating” and high delays were expected.  The airport confirmed repair works were in progress.

The UK is expected to record its highest ever temperature on July 18, 2022, breaking the previous record of 38.7 degrees Celsius (101.66 Fahrenheit). Wildfires have broken out across European countries including France and Spain due to soaring temperatures. 

In Greece, a fire near Athens airport (ATH) has now been contained and moderate delays are expected.