Air passengers delayed as fog grounds flights
>> NEWS: THE LAST JEDI HAS PASSED THROUGH TOWN Heathrow and Gatwick airports urged travellers to check with airlines after dozens of cancellations at start of week
HEATHROW Airport was forced to cancel as many as 100 flights on Tuesday due to a second day of freezing fog across the South East.
Reduced visibility had given airport bosses no choice but to cancel around 100 out of some 1,300 flights, said a spokesman for the hub.
They explained how the airport’s normal pattern of a plane taking off or landing every 45 seconds was not possible due to the fog that has persisted since the weekend. It comes after air passengers endured a miserable start to the week when around 100 flights were also cancelled at Heathrow on Monday morning.
This was compounded by disruption at Gatwick London City, Stansted and Southampton airports.
Bosses at Gatwick warned passengers to expect delays and potential cancellations, and to check with airlines be- fore attempting to travel.
The Met Office warned on Monday evening that overnight fog could cause fresh disruption to air travel. The ‘ severe’ weather warning remained in place until 11am on Tuesday, with the freezing fog re- forming overnight and becoming widespread across the South East.
A spokesman for Heathrow Airport said on Tuesday: “Persistent freezing fog across the South East has reduced visibility at Heathrow again today.
“With Heathrow operating at more than 99% capacity, there are no gaps in the schedule that can be used for delayed flights and, as a result, some passengers may experience disruption.
“Passengers should check their flight status with their airline before coming to the airport. As always, Heathrow’s top priority is the safety of passengers and we apologise to those whose travel has been affected by today’s weather.”
Meanwhile, Gatwick took to Twitter on Monday to issue its own guidance to passengers planning use the airport during cold snap.
“Air traffic control restrictions, imposed due to heavy fog across the South East and Europe, are causing delays to flights to and from Gatwick as well as some cancellations.
“We advise you to the to check the status of your flight with your airline before travelling to the airport, if possible. We’re doing all we can to keep passengers moving.”
Surrey Police, meanwhile, has urged motorists to take extra care on the roads in the foggy conditions, while the Met Office has warned journeys were likely to take longer than usual because of the adverse weather.
A spokesman for the Met Office, added: “Icy stretches on roads and pavements will be an additional hazard.
“Driving conditions will be difficult with journeys likely to take longer than usual and delays to air travel are possible.”
Hundreds of flights were cancelled at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports on Monday and Tuesday due to the thick fog in the South East.