Storm Ciara: Aviation DISMAY in Britain

by Ankur Deo

Sunday (February 9, 2020) and Monday (February 10, 2020) were one of those days when, if your flight was on time while landing or taking off in the Northwestern Europe, you were one of the very few lucky ones. Hundreds of flights at London Heathrow were cancelled on Sunday, with its effects expected to linger for days to come, thanks to Storm Ciara. At Gatwick, about 190 flights were cancelled and several others were delayed. In addition a multitude of flights were bound to be affected because of the backlog in this week as well.

“We are experiencing very high winds today (Sunday, February 9, 2020) and this is causing some delays and cancellations to flights. Passengers are advised to allow plenty of time to get to the airport and to check the status of their flight with their airline” a spokesman added on Sunday.

Winds of up to 80mph hit higher and coastal areas, with gusts of up to 60mph inland. Heavy rainfall caused localized flooding. Some of the cancellation were preemptive, an attempt by the airlines to reduce the knock-on impact of short-term cancellations. These leave aircraft in the wrong locations. Adverse weather conditions not only make it difficult for aircraft to fly, but also make it nearly impossible for technicians and engineers to carry maintenance and other ramp duties.


A Ryan Air Beoing 737 struggling to land in crosswinds at Birmingham Airport. Image Credits:

Because of the storm, British Airways and Virgin have cancelled several routes out of London airports and offering customers alternative options. While most of the affected flights are short-haul European routes, passengers are expected to watch their flight status for changes. Similar flight cancellations were also observed in France, and other parts of Northwestern Europe.

While National weather agency. Met Eireann, warned that a combination of spring high tides, high seas and stormy conditions had created a significant risk of coastal flooding. In particular along the west and northwest coast of Europe. In conclusion more flight cancellations and rescheduling is expected throughout this week.

We shall continue to follow the repercussions of this storm closely; it is advisable to follow up with airline websites regarding any changes in the timetable before travelling. Travel safe!

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