Flights to and from India remain unaffected in UK

Last Updated: Sunday, January 20, 2013 - 22:16

London: Flights to and from India remain unaffected so far, even as airports across Britain struggle to cope with extreme weather conditions.

Britain has been battered by heavy snow and strong winds in the past few days.

Flights at Heathrow Airport – the Britain`s busiest airport - have been cut by 20 percent after a further two to six centimetres of snow was predicted for today.

Over 100 flights were cancelled on Saturday and hundreds more suspended on Sunday as the airport entered its third day of crisis, forcing stranded passengers to camp out in refugee camp-like conditions.

"All our flights are on schedule at the moment," an Air India spokesperson at Heathrow told a news agency.

Jet Airways, which also has daily flights linking London to Delhi and Mumbai, claimed it has not been "notified of any delays or cancellations".

A spokesperson for the airport said airlines had been making their own decisions to cancel flights. "What Heathrow is experiencing is absolutely in proportion to what other airports affected by snow are experiencing," she said.

In 2010, heavy snow brought chaos to one of the world`s busiest airports but, after a GBP 36 million investment in cold weather equipment, Heathrow claims it is coping well with this week`s wintry conditions and that a reduction in its capacity was primarily due to low visibility rather than snow clogging up the runways.

Other airports such as Gatwick and Stansted are operating as normal, with teams on standby to clear snow if required.

Britain is set for its coldest day in 10 years today, which could see temperatures dip to Siberian levels of minus 20 degrees Celsius.

The big freeze is expected to last for another two weeks.

The UK Met Office has issued a yellow "be aware" ice warning covering almost the whole of England, all of Wales and Northern Ireland, and the south-west corner of Scotland.

"The public should be aware of the risk of localised difficult travel conditions due either to existing snow cover, or to icy surfaces," it says.

Freezing conditions have also prompted motoring organisations to issue warnings.

A fresh band of snow started falling in parts of south-east England in the morning.

This is expected to move slowly north during the day to reach north-east England overnight and much of eastern Scotland on Monday.

Forecasters said the snowfall would continue in much of eastern Scotland and north-east England on Monday, while there could also be flurries in southern England and Northern Ireland.

PTI




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