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European airports forced to cancel/delay flights as weather worsens

20-Dec-2010 9:10 AM

European airports were forced to cancel and delay a number of flights over the weekend (18-Dec-2010 - 19-Dec-2010), due to heavy snow conditions (AFP/Bloomberg, 18-Dec-2010/AFP/Associated Press/BBC News/Bloomberg/Daily Mail/Press Association/Reuters, 19-Dec-2010/AFP, 20-Dec-2010):

  • UK/Ireland:
    • Aberdeen Airport: was open on 19-Dec-2010, but was experiencing sever delays;
    • Belfast City Airport: reopened on 19-Dec-2010; [more]
    • Belfast International Airport: was closed until 17:00 on 18-Dec-2010;
    • Birmingham Airport: was open on 19-Dec-2010, but warned of delays and cancellations;
    • Blackpool Airport: announced it aims to maintain normal operations and the airport's airfield operations team are working around the clock to ensure a continued service, but warned there will be some disruption to flights especially if weather conditions in the north-west worsen; [more]
    • Bournemouth Airport: reopened on 19-Dec-2010, but was experiencing severe delays;
    • Bristol Airport: was open on 19-Dec-2010, but was experiencing severe delays;
    • Cardiff Airport: announced (19-Dec-2010) it is open, but warned some services may be delayed or cancelled due to weather conditions at other airports in the UK and Ireland;[more]
    • Edinburgh Airport: closed its runway at around midday on 19-Dec-2010, reopening at 14:30 for arrivals and 16:00 for departures;
    • Exeter Airport: was open on 19-Dec-2010, but was experiencing sever delays;
    • Guernsey Airport: is considering opening on 25-Dec-2010 to handle passengers disrupted by flight cancellations in the UK (UK-Airport-News.info, 16-Dec-2010);
    • Ireland West Airport Knock: announced (17-Dec-2010) it is fully operational but warned there may be some disruptions to its flight schedule due to weather conditions in the UK and Ireland; [more]
    • Jersey Airport: was expected to reopen at 14:30 on 19-Dec-2010 (This Is Jersey, 19-Dec-2010);
    • Kent International: announced (19-Dec-2010) flybe flights to/from the airport were disrupted; [more]
    • London City: was open on 19-Dec-2010, but was experiencing sever delays;
    • London Gatwick: reopened on 19-Dec-2010 resuming operations at a “good, steady flow rate”. The airport reported 135 departures and 122 arrivals of a total of 208 flights scheduled for the day. The airport was closed on 18-Dec-2010 (Xinhua, 19-Dec-2010);
    • London Heathrow: announced it is not accepting any arrivals on 19-Dec-2010 and was managing only seven departures. It also closed both of its runways for most of the day on 18-Dec-2010. Around 30 tonnes of snow was being cleared from each parking stand. The airport was hoping for a “full reopening” on 20-Dec-2010 but stated there will be further cancellations and delays during the day as it continues to clear snow and ice, as well as in the days that follow as airlines move diverted aircraft and crew back to their normal positions; [more]
    • London Luton: reopened on 19-Dec-2010, but warned of delays and cancellations;
    • London Stansted: reopened on 19-Dec-2010, but warned of delays and cancellations. The airport was closed for much of the day on 18-Dec-2010 (Telegraph, 18-Dec-2010);
  • Continental Europe:
    • Amsterdam Schiphol: flights continued to be severely disrupted on 19-Dec-2010, with 30 flights cancelled and several hundreds of passengers stranded (The Sofia Echo, 19-Dec-2010). All three runways were cleared by snowplough teams on the day (Press Association, 19-Dec-2010);
    • Berlin airports: forced to cancel 100 flights on 17-Dec-2010 (Reuters, 17-Dec-2010);
    • Brussels Airport: some 1500 passengers were stranded overnight at the airport on 18-Dec-2010, after 18 flights bound for Heathrow were re-routed to the airport;
    • EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg: announced flight operations have now been resumed, after being closed during the day for snow clearance. [more]
    • Florence Airport: remained closed on 19-Dec-2010
    • Frankfurt Airport: cancelled more than 540 flights on 19-Dec-2010, around 40%. The airport predicted flights would continue to be cancelled. More than 170 flights were cancelled on 18-Dec-2010 and 560 on 17-Dec-2010 (The Local, 18-Dec-2010);
    • Geneva Airport: reopened on 18-Dec-2010 after being closed on 17-Dec-2010, with only some flights arriving and departing (GenevaLunch, 19-Dec-2010);
    • Munich Airport: cancelled about 75 of 1100 flights on 19-Dec-2010, mostly due to weather at other airports. The airport was also receiving a number of flights diverted from London;
    • Paris Charles de Gaulle: reopened two runways later after 10:00 on 19-Dec-2010, while the other two remained closed. All runways were closed at 09:00. Flights were reduced by 40% from 16:00 on 19-Dec-2010, up from the 25% cut in flights earlier in the day. Delays averaged 80 minutes. More than 5000 passengers were stranded at the airport, including 700 passengers who were re-routed to the airport earlier in the weekend due to the closure of Heathrow, with authorities requesting airlines stop diverting to CDG until 14:30 to ease the backlog;
    • Paris Orly Airport: cancelled 20% of flights on 19-Dec-2010, with delays averaging 45 minutes;
    • Pisa Airport: reopened on 19-Dec-2010 after being closed since 17-Dec-2010;
    • Stockholm Arlanda Airport: cancelled 16 flights to Heathrow on 19-Dec-2010 (Stockholm News, 19-Dec-2010);
    • Zurich Airport: delayed and cancelled flights on 18-Dec-2010;
  • Eastern Europe:

As a result, the following airlines were forced to cancel or delay services internationally:

  • Continental Europe:
    • Air France-KLM: cancelled more than 60 flights to/from Amsterdam on 19-Dec-2010. Air France-KLMCargo announced (17-Dec-2010) heavy snowfall in Europe has also hampered services at its Schiphol hub; [more]
    • Air Malta: cancelled services between Malta and Heathrow on 19-Dec-2010, but operated services to/from Gatwick. The carrier also re-routed its Malta-Amsterdam-Brussels service as Malta-Amsterdam only on 19-Dec-2010. Malta-Paris CDG service was also cancelled, while Malta-Orly service departed. [more]
    • KLM: asked passengers at Amsterdam Schiphol to return home if they had not already been transferred to a different flight on 18-Dec-2010 (RNW, 18-Dec-2010).
    • Lufthansa: stated it expects a reduction in flights within Germany and Europe on 20-Dec-2010, after cancelling a number of domestic and regional services from Frankfurt on 19-Dec-2010;
    • Olympic Air: announced its services between Athens and Heathrow, Paris and Brussels were cancelled on 19-Dec-2010. The carrier has scheduled additional flights to/from Stansted and Paris on 20-Dec-2010 as a result; [more]
  • Nordic Europe:
    • LOT Polish Airlines: cancelled all flights between Warsaw and Heathrow on 18-Dec-2010 (thenews.pl, 19-Dec-2010). Services from Warsaw to Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris were delayed;
    • SAS: cancelled three flights between Sweden and London;
  • UK/Ireland:
    • bmi: confirmed the cancellation of flights to/from Belfast City Airport for the rest of the day, but intends to resume operations from the airport on 20-Dec-2010; [more]
    • British Airways: suspended all flights from Heathrow on 18-Dec-2010 and 19-Dec-2010 and urged passengers whose travel plans were "not essential" to cancel their flights from Heathrow for a full refund or reschedule their flight. Flights to/from Gatwick were also suspended on 18-Dec-2010. CEO Willie Walsh warned of further disruption over the next few days;
    • easyJet: cancelled all flights from Gatwick between 06:00 and 10:00 on 18-Dec-2010;
    • Ryanair: cancelled more than 80 flights to/from UK airports on 19-Dec-2010. The airline also cancelled five flights from Paris and London to Sweden;
  • North America:
    • Air Canada: advised (18-Dec-2010/19-Dec-2010) of delays and cancellations to London and other trans-Atlantic flights, as well as an impact on connecting flights within Europe for at least another 48 hours. The carrier diverted to Paris three London-bound flights on the morning of 18-Dec-2010 and cancelled most of its London-bound operation for the evening of 18-Dec-2010. It also cancelled all departures from London to Canada on 19-Dec-2010. [more - 18-Dec-2010] [more - 19-Dec-2010]
  • Middle East:
    • Emirates: President Tim Clark criticised UK's BAA for refusing to allow two of the carrier's aircraft to land at Heathrow on 19-Dec-2010, despite the flights already being "fully on route" (ArabianBusiness.com, 19-Dec-2010). Mr Clark stated this was despite the flights being operated in full compliance with BAA requirements that Heathrow would accept flights after 11:00 on the day. 900 passengers were affected. Emirates was also forced to cancel a further three flights from Dubai to Heathrow. The carrier has now said it will not operate any flights to Heathrow until around midday on 20-Dec-2010;
    • Etihad Airways announced (19-Dec-2010) it delayed all flights to London until further notice. Two flights to London were diverted on 18-Dec-2010; one to Manchester and one to Frankfurt. Passengers on the Manchester flight have been transferred to London via coach, and passengers in Frankfurt have received hotel or lounge accommodation. Etihad’s early morning flight to London on 19-Dec-2010 returned to Abu Dhabi. [more]
    • Kuwait Airways Corporation stated it has diverted some of its aircraft due to the heavy snow in Europe (KUNA, 19-Dec-2010). Services to New York via London on 18-Dec-2010 was diverted to Brussels Airport due to bad weather conditions at London Heathrow. Services to Paris were diverted to Switzerland while services from Frankfurt were delayed.
  • North Asia:
    • EVA Air:
      • cancelled London-Bangkok, London-Taipei services; diverted Taipei-London flight to Cologne on 18-Dec-2010;
      • cancelled London-Bangkok, London-Taipei, Bangkok-Taipei services, diverted Taipei-London flight to Vienna on 19-Dec-2010;
      • cancelled Taipei-London, Bangkok-London services on 20-Dec-2010 [more]
  • Southeast Asia:
    • Malaysia Airlines: cancelled one flight from London to Kuala Lumpur on 18-Dec-2010, while two flights from London to Kuala Lumpur were diverted to Frankfurt and Istanbul (Bernama,19-Dec-2010). The carrier also re-timed its Kuala Lumpur-London service on 19-Dec-2010 to 20-Dec-2010.
    • Singapore Changi Airport: stated all flights from London due to arrive in Singapore on 19-Dec-2010 have been cancelled or re-timed (Channel NewsAsia, 19-Dec-2010). Affected services included one British Airways flight, three Singapore Airlines flights and two Qantas flights. They have been re-timed to arrive today (20-Nov-2010). One Singapore Airlines flight to London was forced to return to Singapore on 19-Dec-3010, while two flights to London were diverted to Frankfurt and Zurich on 18-Dec-2010. Flights from Amsterdam and Frankfurt to Singapore have also been delayed;
  • South Pacific
    • Air New Zealand: forced to cancel a number of flights from Auckland and Los Angeles to London on 18-Dec-2010 and advised passengers its Auckland-London via Hong Kong/Los Angeles were still due to operate, but may be forced to be terminate in Hong Kong or Los Angeles (Stuff, 20-Dec-2010);
    • Qantas: cancelled four services from Australia to London during their stopovers in Singapore and Bangkok on 19-Dec-2010 (ABC News, 20-Dec-2010). The carrier stated one service from London Heathrow was able to depart on 19-Dec-2010.
  • India:
    • SriLankan Airlines: cancelled two London services on 19-Dec-2010 (ColomboPage, 19-Dec-2010).