x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

British Airways scraps flights as UK hit by snow

All BA flights departing from Heathrow and Gatwick have been cancelled on the busiest weekend for travellers before Christmas.

LONDON // Britain was blanketed in a fresh layer of snow Saturday, disrupting air travel as British Airways scrapped all flights at the kingdom's two busiest airports.

All BA flights departing from London Heathrow between 1000 GMT and 1700 GMT were cancelled, as were all domestic and European BA flights from London Gatwick on what is traditionally the busiest weekend for travellers before Christmas.

"Heathrow is open, and both runways are clear. However, due to the adverse weather, there are a number of cancellations and delays," the world's busiest international passenger airport said.

Low-cost carrier easyJet (EZJ.LN) also canceled all flights from Gatwick, Europe's eighth-busiest passenger airport, between 0600 GMT and 1000 GMT.

Elsewhere, Southampton Airport in southern England was closed until 1200 GMT due to the adverse weather, while flights to certain destinations from Birmingham Airport in the Midlands were also grounded.

Passengers also faced disruptions at Exeter, London City, Aberdeen and Cardiff.

Meanwhile Eurostar, which operates high-speed passenger trains linking London with Paris and Brussels, was operating with speed restrictions that added up to an hour on journey times.

Temperatures dropped as low as minus 13 degrees Celsius in Chesham, southeast England overnight. Gatwick registered minus 11C (12F).

Sporting fixtures were also hit, with several soccer matches postponed and race meetings called off.