AIRLINES including British Airways and easyJet have been forced to cancel a number of flights due to Storm Eunice hitting the UK today.
The storm – pegged to be one of the worst in decades – has already caused widespread disruption across the UK with winds up to 122mph.
British Airways has been forced to cancel some flights todayCredit: PA
Aviation analytics firm Cirium said at least 436 flights to, from or within the UK have been cancelled with the highest proportion at Heathrow, where 20 per cent of flights were cancelled, followed by London City (16 per cent) and Manchester (10 per cent).
British Airways has cancelled at least 114 departures and 118 arrivals at Heathrow, along with 24 departures and 26 arrivals at London City.
EasyJet has also been forced to cancel a number of flights from Gatwick and Bristol Airport.
British Airways said on Twitter: “The arrival flow rate at London Heathrow is being reduced due to gale force winds.
“If you want to change your flight, send us a DM with more information and we’ll be happy to take a look at this for you.”
A number of their flights have been unable to land due to the strong winds – flight BA1439 arriving at London Heathrow was forced to return to Edinburgh while flight BA296 from Chicago to London has diverted to Geneva.
Passengers on easyJet flight EJU8014 from Bordeaux to Gatwick endured two aborted landings before the plane was put in a holding pattern over the south coast and then forced to return to the French city.
British Airways said in a statement: “Due to the extreme weather conditions across the UK and resulting restrictions on the number of aircraft that can take-off and land each hour, we, like other airlines, are experiencing significant disruption.
“We’re operating as many flights as we can and putting on larger aircraft where possible. Customers due to travel on a short-haul service today can rebook for free on ba.com. Those whose flights have been cancelled are being contacted to offer options including a full refund.
“Safety is always our priority and we’re encouraging customers to check the latest flight information on ba.com before heading to the airport.”
Passengers who are affected will be able to rebook their flights for free with British Airways if travelling short-haul.
🔵 Read our Storm Eunice travel live blog for the latest updates
And an easyJet spokesperson said: “Due to strong winds impacting parts of the UK today, like other airlines we are experiencing some disruption to our flying programme and have been required to cancel a small number of flights to and from the UK.
“We are doing all possible to minimise the impact of the weather disruption for our customers and have notified those on cancelled flights in advance, with the option of transferring to an alternative flight free of charge or receiving a refund, as well as providing hotel accommodation and meals for customers who require them.”
London City Airport has cancelled all flights until 4:30pm, while a large number of flights have been cancelled at London Heathrow.
At Heathrow at least 65 flights – both departures and arrivals – were cancelled and a further 114 were delayed by more than 15 minutes, according to aviation data provider FlightStats by Cirium.
At Gatwick there were 15 cancellations and 67 delayed flights.
Heathrow urged passengers to keep up to date with the latest information as “high winds and poor weather can cause last-minute delays”.
Airports across the UK have been issuing warnings to passengers to check their flights and to arrive early if they are going ahead.
Gatwick Airport tweeted: “Weather Warning. Be advised that due to storm Eunice, there is the possibility for disruption to flights, and the shuttle service to North terminal on Friday, between approximately 10am and 4pm.
“Please arrive earlier if you are flying from Gatwick.”
A spokesperson for East Midlands said: “When strong winds are forecast it is less about the strength of the wind and more about the direction.
“With strong winds forecast in the coming days, we advise that passengers contact their airlines if they have concerns about a flight.”
Travel disruption has resulted in other closures across the UK too,, following Storm Dudley.
Legoland in Windsor has confirmed it will be closing its doors due to the adverse weather along with the London Eye while P&O Ferries between Dover and Calais have now been suspended.
All trains have been cancelled in Wales while a Danger to life warning has been issued across all of England.
Brits have been warned to not travel on the roads after a man tragically died during Storm Dudley’s unrelenting winds.
Lots of trains were also cancelled yesterdayCredit: Getty
Waves hits Porthleven on the Cornish coast as Storm Eunice makes landfallCredit: PA