By Ed Attwood
Passengers whose flights have already been cancelled may not find new seats until the new year, says UK airport agency
Despite continued air travel chaos to London Heathrow, the Gulf’s airlines are planning to offer a full schedule of services to the UK airport on Tuesday.
However, Heathrow currently only has one runway open, and fresh snow forecast for Europe means that there could be further delays and cancellations, the airport said this morning.
“Passengers should anticipate further delays and cancellations in the following days and potentially beyond Christmas Day," said the British Airports Authority (BAA), the agency that overlooks Heathrow, in a company statement.
Passengers whose flights have already been cancelled may not find new seats until the new year, the agency warned.
Emirates Airline is scheduled to provide four flights to Heathrow today, two of which have already left, while neighbouring carrier Qatar Airways also plans to offer four services.
Etihad Airways will offer three services to Heathrow, while Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways and Oman Air are all planning to provide one flight each.
However, according to the British Airways website, the airline has cancelled flight BA0104 from Dubai, which was scheduled to leave the UAE today.
The British flag-carrier will fly two other services from Dubai, plus one from Muscat/Abu Dhabi, and one from Kuwait.
Virgin Atlantic is also planning to offer one Dubai-Heathrow service today.
Gatwick on Tuesday morning reopened its runway after heavy snowfall the previous evening grounded planes. However, the airport warned that future cancellations are “inevitable”.
“Passengers should expect further disruption today… and for the rest of this week,” it said in a statement.
At Heathrow, the centre of the flights chaos, an estimated 100 aircraft remain on their stands forcing airlines to cancel hundreds of flights.
Last night, BAA shut down Terminals 1 and 3 at the airport to dissuade the thousands of passengers waiting at the airport and hoping to board delayed flights.
In France, an estimated 30 percent of flights at Charles de Gaulle and Orly have been cancelled, while Brussels yesterday said it would ground all departing flights until Tuesday due to a lack of de-icing fluid for planes.
Europe can take an example to Russia, Canada, Scandinavia, snow 4-6 months of the year, flights on time, no cancellations, unless extreme conditions, a few inches of snow and all of Europe is paralized, absolutely incredible... so much for best airport, best airline, no wonder EU airlines are rated second and third class carriers...excuse the weather..no excuse...invest in proper material & services if ever you think to regain customer satisfaction
absolutely agree with bkay!!!
I agree with bkay completely! Edmonton airport in Alberta, Canada has the worse snow fall every year - no flights canceled, no delays. Come on people, being the first world you'd think you'd have these basics in place!
Okay, for the past 30 years there hasn't been as much snow in West-Europe as this winter. Airports don't have the plans & materials to cope with this sudden heavy snowfall. If this amount of snow would fall in the Middle East (what fortunately will not happen), airports here would have the same problem because they are not ready for these scenario's because it doesn't/rarely happens.
Also, you can not compare airports in West-Europe with airports in Russia, Canada and in Scandinavia where they have snow 4-6 months per year, like you said. It would be silly if these airports in these snowy countries wouldn't have any plans & materials and be closed for 4-6 months, don't you think?
Interesting all these comments re UK and bad weather - this is the worst winter the UK has had since records began..temperatures have dropped down to -19 degrees, unheard of in our history. However what happens in Dubai when it rains for a few hours.............?? Roads are flooded, houses leak and the town goes basically to a standstill....lets look closer to home before we make these type of comments.
Lets keep it in perspective please! As has been stated over and over - this is one of the worst winters in 30 years and this can be compared to the UAE when it rains that once or twice a year and the streets flood and schools are closed, and the drains can't cope - and that is for RAIN; not deep impassable snow but a sprinkling of water on the ground that can't drain because of the sand blocked drains, and municipalities response to that is "well it only rains a couple of times a year so why bother clearing the drains". Same, same but different!
Do they have the worst snow fall in 30 years every year? I do not think so.
I do not understand all the noise with this, this year we had all air traffic in Europe collapsed because of the volcano.
I have seen Dubai collapse on average every 18 months because of rain... Can we get some pspective here?
Extreme conditions in Russia are different form extreme conditions in uk or France or extreme conditions in Spain or in UAE.
Moronic comment. Europe can't cope with a freak catastrophic event and that makes it third world - grow up!
Situations happen and it is dealt with as speedily and competently as planning and materials allows. You CANNOT plan for a freak event and keep budgets within manageable parameters.
The BAA is a profit making organisation and as such will have frameworks in place to allow for the normal range of weather extremes.