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 European Airports in Winter Grip

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PostSubject: European Airports in Winter Grip   Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:56 pm

European Airports in Winter Grip

Flights of several airlines between Sofia and London have been cancelled Sunday over heavy snow, closing the Heathrow and Gatwick airports in London.

British Airways and Easy Jet already announced they would not fly to Sofia Monday.

Flights between Sofia and Bucharest were also cancelled Sunday over the inclement weather.

The heavy snow fall paralysed a number of other airports all across Europe with thousands stranded right in the beginning of the winter holiday travel.

Flights have been delayed and cancelled at Frankfurt, Paris, Florence, Pisa, Brussels, Munich, and Amsterdam.

The airport in Budapest was closed early morning, but reopened at noon, after the runways were cleaned from the snow.

The winter storm caused havoc on European roads as well with hundreds of drivers forced to spend the night in their cars in Northern and Western England, Northern Italy, and Northern in Western France. The icy roads triggered a large number of traffic accidents.

Trucks are banned on many roads. The railway transportation is also experiencing difficulties. The Eurostar train connecting Britain with mainland Europe through the English Channel is registering significant delays while many trains in South eastern England are cancelled.

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PostSubject: Re: European Airports in Winter Grip   Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:41 pm

what a nightmare the cold weather can bring makes you wonder how other countries survive

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PostSubject: Re: European Airports in Winter Grip   Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:55 am

Dosen't look like anything good for the airports and passengers in the uk I don't think all the people trying to get away for Christmas are going to make it Terminal 1 is now closed and they are stopping people getting into the airport at Heathrow

Ashley has a link on this page for all airport news:- viewtopic.php?f=10&
t=3614
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PostSubject: Re: European Airports in Winter Grip   Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:34 am

Not looking good for anyone and then there is the knock on effect this will have on all other businesses to like Skying etc it amazes me how the uk can never sort problems like this out if you look at Helsinki airport where they have more snow than anyone, in 37 years they have never closed! says a lot for the uk
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PostSubject: Re: European Airports in Winter Grip   Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:37 pm

Thousands of people face further disruption to their Christmas travel plans as cold weather continues to grip much of the country.

BA said all short-haul flights out of Heathrow were cancelled but it aimed to run as many long-haul ones as possible.

BAA has apologised to people who spent the night in a terminal, but Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said aviation was a "
safety-first business"
.

A man has died in hospital after falling through ice on a lake in Essex.

The unnamed man, in his 30s, was dragged out of the lake at Rochford, near Southend, on Sunday afternoon but died later.

Cardiff Airport will be shut until at least 1600 GMT.

A Gatwick spokesman said 600 flights were taking off and landing at the airport on Monday, but several hundred people remained stuck at the airport.

He said helping passengers on the ground was a priority.

Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Birmingham, Luton, London City, Bristol and Southampton airports all said flights would be subject to delays and cancellations.

Exeter has closed a runway until at least 1900 GMT. Flybe has cancelled all departures from there on Monday.

Stansted is said to be operating as normal.

Mr Hammond is to give a statement to MPs in the House of Commons later on the impact of the weather on the transport network.

Meanwhile, the Met Office has warned of more snow and ice in many parts of the country.

BBC weather forecaster John Hammond said Devon and Cornwall bore the brunt of the snow on Monday morning, with 20cm falling in parts. Wales saw between 2cm and 5cm.

Through the afternoon and evening, more snow is expected to cover the rest of southern England with Surrey, Sussex and Kent likely to see the worst of it.

Sub-zero temperatures will persist across almost the whole country.

The Wales Ambulance Service has warned of potential "
long delays"
in responding to 999 calls.

There were also warnings of more heavy snow for much of Scotland and north-east England, with up to 10cm of snow expected in northern Scotland.

The lowest UK temperature overnight was -18.7C, recorded in Pershore, Worcestershire. Northern Ireland had another bitterly cold night, with -18C recorded at Castlederg in County Tyrone.

Thousands of people were forced to spend another night at Heathrow, after few flights departed on Sunday.

Airport operator BAA said further cancellations and delays at Heathrow would be inevitable.

But many passengers were unhappy with their treatment.

Sarah Randall, from Hertfordshire, said she was stranded at the airport with her husband, parents and three children - aged six to 11 - after their Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong was cancelled on Saturday morning.

She said they slept on the floor on Saturday night and that her children were still traumatised by the experience.

She complained: "
The weather was beyond their control, I know, but my gripe is the disgraceful way all passengers have been treated and abandoned."


She said the family is now back at home after her husband walked through the snow to flag down a taxi on the M4 slip road but they are yet to find out if the £16,000 cost of their "
dream trip"
to Hong Kong and Bali will be refunded.

Mr Hammond said he was aware of the "
outrage"
of passengers, but he added: "
We have had very extreme conditions and aviation is a safety-first business and the conditions at Heathrow have made it difficult for aviation to operate."


BAA spokesman Andrew Teacher told the BBC: "
We had five inches of snow in an hour on Saturday afternoon and hundreds of planes parked when the snow came down. We have drafted in hundreds of people to clear the snow and thousands of people have been put up in hotels near the airport.

"
Inevitably some people are at the airport and I'm not going to sit here and say it has gone well. We are extremely sorry for the disruption to people's journeys.

"
People are in the lounges and all over the airport. We have given out thousands of blankets, food vouchers, bottles of water and there is free wi-fi. Things are improving slowly."


Mr Teacher said: "
We are not trying to shun responsibility but Heathrow is not the same as an airport in Finland or Istanbul. If you had a Heathrow in Finland the same thing would happen. If you have 200 planes and five inches of snow you are going to get this."


He said the north runway was open but the south runway was still closed and staff were working "
around the clock"
to get it cleared.

Mr Teacher also pointed out safety was the top priority: "
If there was a crash or a plane skidded off the runway we would have people saying 'why didn't you close the runway?'"

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PostSubject: Re: European Airports in Winter Grip   Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:59 pm

I was just listening to a program that said the situation with airports is going to get worse and that 10s of thousands of people are stranded, they also said that by the time they get all the backlog done it will be well after Christmas before normal service is back and that most people expecting to fly and get away for Christmas will be disappointed.
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PostSubject: Re: European Airports in Winter Grip   Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:55 pm

Sofia Airport Flights to London, Paris Cancelled

The Sofia International Airport has cancelled its Monday flights to London and Paris while the flights to other Western European destinations are seeing substantial delays.

Those include the Sofia Airport flights to Frankfurt, Milano, and Amasterdam.

The cancellations and delays in Sofia are due to the inclement weather in Western Europe where the airports face weather issues.

The London airport Heathrow has been closed for arriving flights;
the major Paris airports see delays of up to 5 hours per flight, while the delays at Frankfurt at up to 90 minutes.

The passengers are advised to demand food and accommodation from airline companies in the event of cancellation.

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