Posted by: Olgen K. Ifti | December 21, 2010

CBC News – Canada – Canadian flights to U.K. down to a few

Passengers sleep on makeshift beds in Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport in London on Tuesday.Passengers sleep on makeshift beds in Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport in London on Tuesday. (Toby Melville/Reuters)It’s another wait and see kind of day for Canadian travellers hoping to fly to snowy European destinations, with flight cancellations continuing at major airports across Canada.

Those with travel plans overseas are urged to check in on a regular basis with their carrier. Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said London’s busiest airport is still turning away a majority of flights.

“With Heathrow, we’re still operating under restrictions that they’ve imposed, so we’re only able to operate one-third of our normal schedule, so that means today we’ll have six flights going in and out. It’s a very difficult situation,” Fitzpatrick said.

“Heathrow is problematic for us for a couple of reasons. It’s our biggest destination, where we fly the most international flights. As well, it’s a big connecting point, so there’s a lot of traffic in and out,” he said.

Air Canada later issued a news release, showing Heathrow will be able to accommodate a few more flights for Canadians heading home for the holidays.

Air Canada Tuesday daytime flight plans

  • AC868 Toronto-London.
  • AC857 London-Toronto.
  • AC851 London-Calgary.
  • AC855 London-Vancouver.
  • AC859 London-Toronto.

Air Canada Tuesday evening flight plans

  • AC864 Montreal-London.
  • AC858 Toronto-London.
  • AC854 Vancouver-London.
  • AC2059 London-Toronto.

A Lufthansa flight to and from Frankfurt, booked in Vancouver, was cancelled. However, the Delta flight to and from Amsterdam was to go ahead as planned Tuesday evening.

A Heathrow-bound Air Canada flight was supposed to leave Tuesday morning from Halifax, but it was cancelled because of the backlog.

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday said his government had “offered military assistance” to the company that operates Heathrow and other airports in the U.K.

Heathrow said it was grateful for the offer but didn’t need the help.

Still, with the backlog of cancelled flights, Heathrow said it would be operating at around one-third of its normal flight schedule until 6 a.m. local time on Thursday.

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Has winter weather delayed your travel plans? Share your stories and photos.

Flight cancellations and delays have been going on since last Friday night, when snow began clogging runways in several European countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France and the U.K.

Germany’s largest airport in Frankfurt was close to running a normal schedule of flights again on Monday, but then had to cancel 300 flights early Tuesday after a new blizzard generated 40 centimetres of snow.

There were further disruptions at Paris’s two main airports, Orly and Charles de Gaulle.

Air Canada has cancelled its flights between Halifax and London — with no word on when the flights might resume.

With files from The Associated Press

via cbc.ca

Really bad timing. It’s awful being stuck in Heathrow during holidays season. Hopefully Heathrow will be able to accomodate the travellers and be back to normal operations.

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