Heathrow Airport cancels more flights

Heathrow Airport  has cancelled dozens of flights as a snowstorm has caused widespread travel disruption across Britain. (Steve Parsons/PA, AP)
Heathrow Airport has cancelled dozens of flights as a snowstorm has caused widespread travel disruption across Britain. (Steve Parsons/PA, AP)

London - London's Heathrow Airport was hit by a third straight day of delays on Sunday after airport bosses cancelled 20% of flights as snow continued to blanket the British capital, with more forecast.

Heathrow, which is owned by Spain's Ferrovial , said the reduced schedule - amounting to around 250 fewer flights - would help it cope with the expected snowfall without making further cancellations.

"There is a high probability of around two to six centimetres of accumulating snow and low visibility at periods throughout the day," a Heathrow spokesperson said.

"This will reduce the capacity of the airport and without action would cause significant disruption to passengers and flights."

London's smaller Stansted and Gatwick airports said they were operating as normal on Sunday morning but that delays and some flight cancellations were likely.

The Met Office said snow was likely to continue throughout Sunday and into Monday. As much as eight centimetres was expected in southeast England on Sunday, it said.

On average, around 1 300 flights leave Heathrow daily. The airport, Europe's busiest, operates at close to full capacity after Britain's coalition government blocked development of a third runway in 2010.

Heathrow has spent £36m 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.

More than 400 flights were cancelled on Friday, while on Saturday 111 flights, most of them operated by IAG's British Airways, were cancelled and hundreds of passengers spent the night in Heathrow's terminals.

BA said there had been a knock-on effect because many of its planes were in the wrong place after Friday's snow.

"Like other airlines at Heathrow we have complied with a request to reduce our schedule by 20% on Sunday and we continue to work with Heathrow Airport to help keep the airport running as smoothly as possible," BA said in a statement.

"We are doing everything we can to help customers whose flights have been disrupted by severe weather."

Services by Air France-KLM, Ireland's Aer Lingus and Germany's Lufthansa have also been affected.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
As a child or as an adult, have you ever been a victim of bullying?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, at school
53% - 435 votes
Yes, at work
16% - 133 votes
No, I've never experienced this
31% - 260 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.31
(0.0)
GBP/ZAR
19.81
(0.0)
EUR/ZAR
17.15
(0.0)
AUD/ZAR
11.07
(0.0)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(0.0)
Gold
1,776.67
(0.0)
Silver
25.97
(0.0)
Platinum
1,203.79
(0.0)
Brent Crude
66.77
(-0.3)
Palladium
2,781.00
(0.0)
All Share
68,699
(+1.3)
Top 40
62,898
(+1.3)
Financial 15
12,446
(+0.8)
Industrial 25
89,364
(+0.8)
Resource 10
70,350
(+2.2)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo