x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Flights to the UK disrupted by heavy snowfall

Services to London and Manchester services from the UAE are affected by severe conditions after heavy snow blanketed many parts of Britain.

Passengers wait for flights after heavy snowfall closed the runway at Gatwick Airport near London.
Passengers wait for flights after heavy snowfall closed the runway at Gatwick Airport near London.

Delays, diversions and cancellations were the norm for passengers flying between the Emirates and the UK after heavy snow blanketed many parts of Britain. London's Gatwick airport was closed to all traffic yesterday after as much as 40cm of snow fell in southern England. Some flights could not land at the Manchester airport in the north of England on Tuesday evening.

"Pretty much the whole country is covered in snow and it's going to take a while for it to really thaw," said Dave Britton of the Met Office, the UK weather forecaster. "This is the most prolonged spell of cold weather the UK has seen since 1981." Two Emirates flights from Dubai to Gatwick were diverted yesterday to Birmingham. Passengers were then taken by bus to their destination. Emirates cancelled a flight from Dubai to Gatwick and was planning to accommodate passengers on later flights.

Other services between the UAE and the UK suffered delays as airports worked to clear a backlog of flights. British Airways (BA), which flies from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to London's Heathrow airport, warned disruptions were likely. BA services from Dubai to Heathrow yesterday were delayed by as much as an hour and a half, while flights from Heathrow to Dubai were running up to three hours behind schedule.


dbardsley@thenational.ae * With additional reporting by Praveen Menon * With Bloomberg