Flights from Gatwick were delayed after a hot air balloon was swept into the flight path of planes departing from the airport.

An airport spokeswoman said that departures had been suspended for 30 minutes while airport authorities waited for the balloon to drift to safety.

Five flights out of Gatwick were delayed until the balloon had floated out of the airport's airspace.

She added: "The airport is not closed and arrival flights are still landing, but departing flights were suspended for safety reasons."

It is not known who was in the balloon.