European airports from London’s Heathrow to Frankfurt curtailed flights as snow and freezing rain swept across the continent.
Heathrow, the busiest aviation hub in Europe, plans to cancel at least 10 percent of flights Monday after grounding 260 flights, or about 20 percent of the total, Sunday, its operators said in a statement. In Frankfurt, 294 flights were grounded Sunday, while France’s civilian aviation authority asked airlines to suspend 40 percent of traffic through Paris’s Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports Monday.
Latest forecasts for Monday show a “high probability of low visibility conditions,” Heathrow Ltd. said “It is possible that weather conditions at other European airports will increase the number of cancellations.”
Flights were completely halted at Frankfurt, spokesman Uwe Witzel said by phone at 5:30 p.m. local time, adding that the airport had no estimates for Monday. A train service will be provided for the majority of short-haul flights, airport spokeswoman Waltraud Riehemann said. The weather is expected to improve Monday morning, she said.
Air France said it plans to maintain all of its long-haul voyages and 60 percent of short- and medium-haul services. The bus service to Charles de Gaulle, and bus and train connections with Orly, have been suspended, Aeroports de Paris said. Snow will cease Sunday evening, before resuming Monday and then turning to rain on Jan. 22, Meteofrance predicted.
Gatwick airport, London’s second-busiest hub, said on its website that while it was unaffected, passengers should expect some delays. London City, in the east of the capital, said its runway was closed and that flights to and from the airport were “severely disrupted.”
British Airways, a unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, said about 30 of its flights were canceled Saturday “mainly due to a knock-on disruption,” according to Euan Fordyce, a spokesman for the airline. The flights affected were domestic and short-haul journeys to Europe, BA said.
A 0.8 to 2 inches of snow may fall in southeastern England Sunday night, the British Met Office predicted.
KLM, the Dutch national carrier owned by Air France-KLM, said on its website it canceled 36 European flights to and from Amsterdam-Schiphol. Disruption at the airport was mainly due to weather in other European cities and will probably increase by 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. local time, airport spokeswoman Katelijne Vermeulen said by phone.
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