Snow forces BA to cancel 114 flights at Heathrow

 

After nearly two weeks of baggage chaos and hundreds of cancelled flights, London Heathrow airport was hit by bad weather on Sunday which forced British Airways to cancel 114 flights.

 

Two runways at Heathrow were briefly closed for de-icing as snow fell in London and air traffic control reduced the number of take-off and landing slots.

 

Twelve BA flights were cancelled on Saturday after airport operator BAA was unable to fix a software glitch in the system that matches passengers' luggage to their flight. But that problem had been fixed by Sunday.

 

"In the early hours of this morning, the software problem in Heathrow Terminal 5 was resolved and the baggage system is functioning well," said BAA, which is owned by Spain's Ferrovial.

 

"The principal challenge for Heathrow is the snow and ice around the airport. We have well-rehearsed procedures in place to deal with this weather and all areas of the airport have been extensively de-iced and treated."

 

BA has been forced to cancel hundreds of flights from the state-of-the-art, £4.3 billion (Dh31.6bn) terminal 5 since it opened on March 27, hitting the airline's share price and becoming a national embarrassment.

 

Tens of thousands of bags have gone missing, costing BA about £16 million (Dh117.4m) since the terminal's opening last month.

 

Those initial problems were caused by BA staff struggling with parking, security and access to the terminal, which is the size of 50 soccer pitches and was heralded by BA as the best facility of its kind in the world.

 

The bad weather also forced BA to cancel 32 flights from Gatwick. (Reuters)

 

 

 

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