London's Heathrow Airport cancelled a fifth of flights on Sunday and airlines scrapped 40 percent of flights to Paris's two main airports as snow blanketed parts of Europe, with more forecast.Air France predicted more cancellations on a similar scale for Monday.Heathrow said the reduced schedule - amounting to around 250 fewer flights - would help it cope with the snowfall without making further cancellations.As snow continued to fall, the airport operator said Monday's flight schedule would be cut by 10 percent. That number could rise, depending on conditions at other European airports, Heathrow said.Paris airport operator, ADP, said airlines scrapped 40 percent of flights in and out of the two main airports on the outskirts of Paris, Charles de Gaulle and Orly, primarily reducing short-haul services.The British Met Office weather forecaster said snow was likely to continue into Monday.Heathrow, Europe's busiest, operates at close to full capacity after Britain's coalition government blocked development of a third runway in 2010."Many airports have plenty of spare runway capacity so aircraft can be spaced out more during low visibility without causing delays and cancellations," said Heathrow, whose owners have campaigned hard for more capacity at the London hub."Because Heathrow operates at almost full capacity, there is simply no room to reschedule the delayed flights," it said.Heathrow has spent GBP£36 million (USD$57 million) on upgrading its winter weather equipment since 2010 - a year that saw it face heavy criticism after it almost shut down when snow hit just before Christmas. It now has 130 snow-clearing vehicles.More than 400 flights were cancelled on Friday, while on Saturday 111 flights, most of them operated by British Airways, were cancelled and hundreds of passengers spent the night in Heathrow's terminals.BA said there had been a knock-on effect because many of its planes were in the wrong place after Friday's snow."Like other airlines at Heathrow we have complied with a request to reduce our schedule by 20 percent on Sunday and we continue to work with Heathrow Airport to help keep the airport running as smoothly as possible," BA said in a statement."We are doing everything we can to help customers whose flights have been disrupted by severe weather."Services by Air France-KLM, Ireland's Aer Lingus and Lufthansa have also been affected. Source: Reuters
Gravity always wins!