Dubai-based carrier confirms more flight cancellations amid increasing snowfall
Dubai’s Emirates Airline confirmed increased snowfall in Europe has continued to disrupt flights to and from the Gulf, as airport operators braced themselves for further delays.
London's Heathrow airport cancelled 10 percent of flights on Monday, a day after it cut its capacity by a fifth, and said services could face further delays with more snowfall expected.
London Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, said it cut around 130 flights from its schedule on Monday to allow more space between aircraft because of low visibility.
As snowfall continued in the UK, London’s main airport canceled more than 400 flights on Friday, while 100 were axed on Saturday.
Similarly, France's transport ministry said in a statement airlines had been asked to cut flight services by that amount at the two main airports on Paris's outskirts, Charles de Gaulle to the north and Orly to the south.
"Emirates is closely monitoring the weather situation in Europe and the impact it will have on flights over the next 24 hours,” an Emirates spokesperson said.
“Both London Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris have issued compulsory capacity restrictions. As a result, Emirates flights EK29 and EK30 (Dubai - London Heathrow - Dubai) on 21 January have been re-routed to London Gatwick and operated with a Boeing 777 instead of an A380, and flights EK71 and EK72 (Dubai - Paris - Dubai) on 21 January have been cancelled.
“Flight EK46 (Frankfurt - Dubai) was unable to depart before curfew due to adverse conditions and is now scheduled to depart at 14:00 local time, subject to local weather conditions,” the statement added.
Further light snowfalls are forecast through Monday and Tuesday, national weather service the UK Met Office told Reuters.
Ferrovial's Heathrow has spent GBP£36m (US$57m) on upgrading its winter weather equipment since 2010 - a year that saw it face heavy criticism after it almost shut down when snow hit just before Christmas. It now has 130 snow-clearing vehicles.
London's second airport, Gatwick, said it was operating as normal on Monday morning but that delays and some flight cancellations were likely because of adverse weather across Europe.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways and Amman-based Royal Jordanian both said their scheduled flights into Europe were currently operating as normal.