MIPIM gets off to a bumpy start for Manchester delegation
The MIPIM conference got off to a bumpy start for the delegates from Manchester.
The Manchester flight carrying top officials and business leaders from the city was buffeted by heavy winds and had to be diverted to Genoa seconds before it was due land at Nice Airport.
People on board the flight said that many passengers were in tears as the flight approached Nice.
Heavy winds meant that the plane was swerving from side to side and the pilot decided it was not safe to land seconds before he was due to touch down.
The plane aborted the landing and flew to Genoa instead. The flight waited on the runway at the Italian airport for an hour and then flew back to Nice for a safe landing.
Justin Strong, from SKV Communications, was on the plane. He said: “It was a frightening experience and the pilot pulled out of landing just seconds before touch down.
“I have never experienced anything quite like that before, there was a lot of very severe turbulence.
“People on the plane were genuinely frightened. The plane was being blown from side to side.”
Other flights from Liverpool and Leeds experienced bumpy landings but Manchester was the only delegation forced to divert from the South of France.
As the conference got under way on Tuesday morning the stormy weather from the previous day was a distant memory.
Hundreds of delegates queued in the brilliant spring sunshine to register and get into the exhibition halls.
One of the biggest stands on the seafront is the Manchester city region pavilion which is on the beach.
Last year the stand got washed out by a wave but there was no sign of any bad weather this morning.
And many of the bars and cafes around the conference city were packed by mid morning.
All of the major cities have a presence at the event and many of the leading political and business figures are in Cannes for the week.
Speakers on the first day included Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese, Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale and Liverpool City Region mayor Steve Rotheram.
Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership was also at the event.
Major announcements are expected throughout the week on property schemes across the country.