Saturday, December 23, 2006


Domestic flights restarted on Saturday afternoon. British Airways domestic flights have resumed at Heathrow after being cancelled since Wednesday due to fog.
The first flight to take off following the suspension left at 1322 GMT, bound for Newcastle.
The airline hopes to operate 95% of its Heathrow services - including 87% of short-haul flights - on Saturday, and a full service on Sunday.
More than 1,000 flights have been cancelled in recent days, and other airports in the UK have been affected.
BA said 55 flights to and from Heathrow, including 10 domestic flights, were scrapped on Saturday morning but hoped all 27 domestic flights would fly in the afternoon.
It is still using 30 buses to get people around the country.
A number of domestic flights operated by other airlines have also been taking off from Heathrow.
'Running normally'
Mark Bullock, managing director of Heathrow, told BBC News 24 the airport terminals were running normally and normal service would be resumed by the end of Sunday.
He said the biggest problem airport staff now faced was passengers turning up early for their flights.
"Today is a busy day. It's our third busiest day of the year.
British Airways customers should contact 0800 727 800 or check the website to see if their flight is still operating
There is regular travel information on BBC News 24, BBC Radio Five Live and the BBC's local radio and regional TV news.
This website will have updated advice and there are links to the BBC's travel and weather web sites below.
Travel advice at-a-glance
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"But as I speak the terminals are running normally. Passengers are passing through security in the terminals as we'd expect ordinarily.
"If I could offer some advice, it would be to passengers: please check with your airline before departing for the airport, to check that your flight is still going. And please, do not turn up early."
A spokesman for BAA - which runs several UK airports, including Heathrow - said the tents which have been used to shelter passengers waiting for flights would remain outside the airport "for at least today" and that the situation was being kept under review.
Bmi has not cancelled any of Saturday's flights from Heathrow, and said it was looking to operate as full a service as possible.
BA flights from Heathrow to Paris and Brussels will resume on Sunday.
The flight cancellations came about after air traffic control placed restrictions on flights landing and taking off at Heathrow, because of the low visibility.
In the run-up to the festive holiday, the Highways Agency has suspended more than half of its 83 roadworks, and many rail engineering works are also being delayed until Christmas.
On the roads
RAC spokesman Adam Cracknell said major problems were not expected on the roads over the weekend.
"We expect there to be about 9 million or 10 million cars on the road on both Saturday and Sunday, mostly between 10am and 4pm as people carry out last-minute Christmas shopping," he said.
"There may be problems in city centres with parking but otherwise we are over the worst of the Christmas traffic."
At Gatwick Airport, where many tourist and ski holiday travellers are expected, there are no reported cancellations and most flights are leaving on time, although there may be some delays.


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