Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Heathrow Resumes Normal Flight Schedule After Cancellations

Travellers on flights to and from London got some respite on Monday as the Heathrow airport operated a normal flight schedule. On Sunday, the airport cancelled 50% of the services due to heavy snow and freezing fog.

After cancelling hundreds of flights over the weekend, London's Heathrow Airport conducted almost normal operations on Monday, allowing travellers to heave a sigh of relief.

The airport trimmed down its services almost by half on Sunday owing to heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures all across the country.

One of the busiest airports on the globe, London Heathrow normally operates around 1,300 flights a day, serving some 180,000 people in the process.

“Heathrow is open and our usual flight schedule is operating today,” the airport said in a statement on Monday.

“There will, however, be a handful of cancellations as result of yesterday's disruption. We advise passengers to contact their airlines to check before they come to the airport,” the statement added.

BAA grounded 200 flights on Saturday as heavy snow engulfed the country, forcing the travellers to rework on their travel schedules. On Sunday, more flights were cancelled even as the conditions were forecasted to be dry with a partial thaw.

Heathrow released a statement that read: “We took the decision with airlines and air traffic control yesterday to reduce the flight schedule in advance.

“By cancelling flights in advance airlines have been able to rebook some people on to flights that are departing, and passengers have had better quality information about whether they can fly or not.”

Other London airports were also affected but not massively. Stansted, Gatwick Birmingham and Luton suspended operations for some time on Saturday night but the airport continued with its normal services the subsequent day.

Gatwick airport released a statement that said the airport is “open for business” but travellers are recommended to make sure of their flight statuses before moving out of their houses. Stansted said it was “open and operating as normal.”

Different Airlines: Where they stand

Most airlines with flights to and from London were impacted by Heathrow’s cancellation of services.

Ryanair, a budget airline renowned for offering cheap flight tickets, cancelled four flights on Saturday and one on Sunday. The airline offered alternate options to affected travellers, without any charges, ensuring that travellers who book cheap flight tickets with this no-frills airline are not required to shell out more.

Emirates and Etihad Airways were also forced to cancel flights to London. On Monday, both airlines offered a normal schedule.

Indian airlines like Kingfisher and Air India were also forced to ground flights to London. While Kingfisher did away with Mumbai-London and Delhi-London flights, Air India decided to club two of its flights.

Ireland’s flag carrier, Aer Lingus axed 16 flights between Ireland and the UK over the weekend. The airline arranged for a larger aircraft to transport passengers who had their flights cancelled.


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