DOHA: Passengers booked on Qatar Airways’ Doha-London flight were in for trouble yesterday as the airline cancelled the service due to bitter winter conditions in the UK.
Qatar Airways, which flies to most destinations in Europe, had to cancel its London Heathrow-Doha flight due to icy conditions in London.
QA services to London and back to Doha are, however, expected to operate normally today as media reports suggested that by late last evening weather conditions were improving and Heathrow was crawling back to action.
Yesterday, though, not only the Qatari national carrier but other major airlines operating from the region, such as Emirates and Etihad, to destinations in the UK had to cancel their flights. British Airways too had to cancel its flights to Dubai yesterday.
Harsh winter conditions across Europe have forced major regional airlines to either cancel or reschedule their flights to London. Flights to other European destinations were operating normally although they are also battling bitter cold conditions.
London’s busiest airport, Heathrow, was the worst affected by heavy snowfall as the UK remained gripped by a very, very severe cold weather.
The cancelled Qatar Airways’ flights were QR001 from Doha to London Heathrow and QR002 from Heathrow to Doha (on February 5), a travel advisory posted on the airline’s website said.
The airline said it was making arrangements to accommodate affected passengers on alternative flights.
Emirates cancelled four flights yesterday between Dubai and London Heathrow, while Etihad cancelled two flights.
British Airways also cancelled two flights from London Heathrow to Dubai yesterday.
The airlines received directives from airport authorities in the UK that a cut was being imposed on the number of flights for all airlines touching Heathrow due to heavy snow.
Around 10 centimeters of snow fell over Britain in the past 24 hours, media reports said.
British Airport Authorities (BAA), meanwhile, hinted that based on weather forecasts of no snowfall, flight schedules may not be changed wholesale today.
Emirates, in the mean time, said it was surprised to be told by BAA well after two of its flights with more than 900 of passengers on board had left Dubai that they were not going to be allowed to land as the airport was to be closed for the remainder of the day, media reports said.
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