THUNDER BAY – Weather in Great Britain and Europe is taking its toll on travellers, and putting the hopes of many people on getting home for Christmas on hold, or in serious doubt. Air Canada has cancelled flights out of Britain.
Air Canada advises that due to continuing severe winter storm conditions in England, and elsewhere in Europe, there will be delays and cancellations of London and Paris flights, as well as an impact on connecting flights within Europe, for at least another 48 hours.
“Air Canada deeply regrets the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of our Heathrow flights by circumstances outside of our control. Unfortunately, we do not anticipate resuming normal services at Heathrow for at least 48 hours. Furthermore, due to the tremendous backlog caused by the closure of Heathrow over the past two days, our ability to provide seats to customers of already cancelled flights will be severely limited by already full flights during the Christmas holiday peak and the scarcity of available slots at Heathrow airport. We are watching the situation closely and preparing to resume operations once conditions permit in order to get customers to their destinations safely,” said Duncan Dee, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.
The impact of the weather conditions in England are also impacting rail and road traffic. Roads across Britain are either closed, or struggling to remain open.
James Bowie, a student at Cardiff who has roots in Thunder Bay states, “It’s a farce. People are cattle. You can’t get to France, the Netherlands, anywhere to fly. I’m hearing reports now that the next AC booking out of London is Dec 26th. Merry xmas to me”.
Due to weather restrictions at London Heathrow, Air Canada cancelled all of its departures from London to Canada for the morning of Sunday, December 19, and as a result a number of flights yet to be determined from Canada to London for the evening of Sunday, December 19 have also been cancelled because aircraft availability.
The severe winter weather is also affecting other European stations, notably Paris, where airport conditions are imposing lengthy delays or cancellations on carriers. Due to heavy holiday passenger loads and slot constraints at Heathrow, Air Canada has limited ability to immediately protect passengers whose flights are affected.
Air Canada asks passengers to postpone non-essential travel and is waiving change and cancellation fees for those who wish to reschedule on affected routes.