Last updated: 10:33 PM ET, Sun November 01 2015

UK Fog Disrupts Flights Across Europe

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | November 01, 2015

UK Fog Disrupts Flights Across Europe

Photo via Twitter/sarahjwells

A blanket of fog has descended over the U.K., causing delays and cancellations at London’s Heathrow Airport — Europe’s busiest — and other area airports, causing a domino effect across the continent, the Independent reported.

“Due to foggy conditions across the U.K. and Europe, passengers may experience some disruption to their journey,” Heathrow warned fliers, the Independent said.

According to the U.K. publication, British Airways canceled as many as 20 flights Sunday between Heathrow and such destinations as Geneva, Madrid and Milan once the fog set in. The carrier also canceled over a dozen arrivals and departures at London City airport. Passengers have been told by BA to not show up at the airport unless they have a confirmed booking on a flight that is operating.

By 5 p.m. local time, the number of canceled flights to and from Heathrow by BA grew to 90. The airline stated, per the Independent, “We will re-book those who are affected onto alternative flights so they can continue their journeys as soon as possible.” 

With hundreds of delayed flights for numerous airlines at Heathrow keeping the arrival and departure “flow rate” low, schedules slipped while planes, pilots and passengers were out of position, the Independent said.

Arrivals from Malta, Istanbul and Cork were among the longest delays, clocking in at 5 hours late — making thousands of transferring fliers miss their connections, the Independent said.

EasyJet saw numerous cancellations at Gatwick, the U.K.’s second-busiest airport, including three consecutive arrivals and departures from Amsterdam due to air traffic control restrictions, according to the Independent. The publication also noted that an easyJet plane from Rome finally showed up a whopping 11 hours late.

BA also canceled 30 Nov. 1 arrivals and departures at London city and expects disruptions Nov. 2 at Docklands airport per the Independent.

The publication stated that this fog-related disruption occurred “at the start of what is expected to be the busiest November in aviation history for London’s airport system,” also noting Heathrow is the busiest two-runway airport in the world and Gatwick holds that title in the single-runway category.

The Independent said these conditions leave “very little room for (maneuvering) when things start going wrong,” and asserted that advocates for additional runways will point to this situation as they continue to make their case for the infrastructure.


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