SAA reopens flights to Heathrow

2010-12-20 13:33

Johannesburg - South African Airways (SAA) planned to fly to London's Heathrow airport on Monday night following the go-ahead from British aviation authorities who have had to manage transport chaos caused by severe snow.

"We have received word from the authorities in London Heathrow that Terminal One will open today and so SAA will be flying out of London and then back," said SAA spokesperson Fani Zulu.

The airline will first allow people booked onto Monday night's flight to board, and will then try to accommodate passengers who could not fly in the last two days, depending on how many seats were available.

Hence, people who were unable to fly out on the last two days should be available at the airport in case there is a seat available.

Preference will be given to those who have waited the longest.

On December 18, the airport informed travellers that snow and adverse weather conditions had resulted in many cancelled flights and a build-up of delays.

BAA, the authority that manages the UK's main airports, said on Monday that Heathrow airport would be open and operating a limited schedule of arrivals and departures, but expected further cancellations and delays in the coming days.

This was as airlines had to move diverted aircraft and crew back to their normal positions and manage the impact of the poor weather over the weekend and in the days ahead, according to a statement posted on its website.

Other airports, such as Stansted, advised travellers to check with them first before going to the airport as "some flights may still be subject to delay or cancellation".

In France, about 40% of the flights at Paris' Charles-de-Gaulle airport were cancelled on Sunday.

Agence France Presse reported that French authorities had cancelled three out of 10 flights on Monday.