LONDON: Christmas travel plans have been thrown into chaos for many Londoners after fog shrouded the capital, causing huge disruption at airports. As many families prepare to fly out of the country for the festive season, British Airways announced that flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City Airport were hit by delays on Thursday morning. And a spokesman for Heathrow said some early-morning flights had been pushed back and knock-on delays could take place throughout the day because of the fog. But they added there have yet to be any cancellations. More than 4.5 million Brits are expected to travel abroad for Christmas and New Year – with 1.2 million predicted to travel through Heathrow alone. And with the majority of London schools breaking up for Christmas holidays on Wednesday, Thursday is one of the busiest travel days of the season.
Fog is affecting flights at London Heathrow, Gatwick & City today. Check your flight status here https://t.co/Md01pAPZDw [06:15 22DEC]
— British Airways (@British_Airways) December 22, 2016
British Airways said on its official Twitter feed that it was aware of fog affecting flights at all three London airports and advised passengers to check their flight status online. It comes as Britain braced itself for the arrival of Storm Barbara, which is set to batter the country with strong winds. The airline said in a statement: “Fog across parts of southern England is affecting some flights to and from London’s airports today. “For safety reasons, Air Traffic Control has to allow greater space between landing aircraft in fog or during periods of low visibility, and this will mean a reduced number of aircraft being allowed to land each hour. “We are sorry for the difficulties caused by the poor weather and will do all we can to minimise the effect it has on our operations.”
Delays & cancellations may occur this morning due to adverse weather, passengers are advised to contact airline for further flight info.
— London City Airport (@LondonCityAir) December 22, 2016
Heathrow Airport said in a statement: “We are currently experiencing foggy conditions, which are expected to clear later this morning. Please check the status of your flight before travelling to the airport.” London City airport announced that they were expecting delays and cancellations due to the “adverse weather”. Passengers travelling through Gatwick were advised to check with their airline about the status of their flight.