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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 21 April, 2014

In pictures: Snow forces hundreds of UK flight cancellations

Aer Lingus and Ryanair flights are among those affected by heavy snowfall in the UK and on the continent.

People sledge down Primrose Hill in London as heavy snowfall caused travel disruption across much of Britain today.
People sledge down Primrose Hill in London as heavy snowfall caused travel disruption across much of Britain today.
Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Updated at 4.35pm

AIRLINE PASSENGERS have been advised to contact their airlines before travelling today, after heavy snowfall forced the curtailment of airport services in the UK and onto Europe.

Over six inches of snow fell overnight in some parts of Britain, while Europe is also feeling the effects of heavy snowfall throughout the week.

Aer Lingus has cancelled 16 flights between London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports and Irish destinations including Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Belfast.

Ryanair has cancelled dozens of flights today, including a number from Paris Beauvais which is inaccessible due to snow.

Ryanair yesterday cancelled over 30 flights as a result of snow in Britain and on the continent, particularly in Italy, where Rome Ciampino airport shut after the city saw its first snowfall in over 25 years.

Britain remains most heavily hit by the snow, with the BBC reporting that Heathrow authorities have come under attack for cancelling some flights before the expected snow even reached the airport.

In pictures: Snow forces hundreds of UK flight cancellations
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    London's Westminster Abbey this morning. (Katie Hodge/PA)
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    Young dog Tilly gets her first taste of snow after heavy overnight fall across Essex. (Ian Nicholson/PA Wire)
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    Georgia, 13, from Ingatestone, Essex, exercises her pet Samoyeds Polar (left) and Bear, after heavy overnight snowfall. (Ian Nicholson/PA Images)
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    A surfer walks to the sea across the beach at Scarborough, Yorkshire, following heavy snow across the UK overnight. (John Giles/PA Wire)
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    Children enjoy the snow at Rillington, near Malton, England. (John Giles/PA Wire)
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    Making a snowman on the beach in Scarborough, Yorkshire, following heavy snow across the UK overnight. (John Giles/PA Wire)
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    Braving the snow in Springfield, Chelmsford, Essex. (Sean Dempsey/PA Wire)
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    Graham Thompson plays in the snow with his grandson William, at his home in Alsager, Cheshire today. (Dave Thompson/PA Wire)
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    A Greylag goose searches for seeds dropped by a member of the public in the snow at Rushcliffe Country Park, Nottinghamshire. (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The BBC quotes a British Airport Authority spokesman as saying Heathrow had no other option, because it already operated at full capacity and had no room to accommodate delays.

“If you can imagine you’re driving, you have to drive slower, leave more space for the car in front in fog, strong winds, snow. It’s the same with aircraft,” he said. ”If we don’t pro-actively cancel flights, the delays build and build and build and it’s much worse for passengers.”

Heathrow said this afternoon that it expects to operate a full service tomorrow, but warns that there may be knock-on cancellations as a result of the weekend’s disruptions.

More than 60 motoring accidents were recorded in North Yorkshire overnight as a result of the heavy snow, while there were also warnings of icy roads in rural parts of Scotland and Wales.

Ireland is expected to avoid the worst of the snowfall, with no weather warnings currently issued by Met Éireann.

- Additional reporting by Susan Ryan

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