Bank holiday getaway set to be busiest for 10 years

Bank holiday getaway set to be busiest for 10 years

Heathrow is expected to see its busiest Whitsun bank holiday for at least 10 years with New York, Dubai and Dublin the top three destinations for its expected 800,000 passengers.

More than two million people are expected to pass through UK airports this weekend as travellers start the school half-term getaway. Air traffic control body Eurocontrol said it expected a trouble-free weekend following a week of disruption to 900 flights across the UK and Northern Europe due to the ash cloud from the Grimsvötn volcano in Iceland.

Head of network operations Brian Flynn said: “Any significant ash concentrations are far out over the sea, at very low altitudes and well away from the air routes or airports. The expectation for the next couple of days is that there will be no disturbances to air traffic whatsoever.”

Meanwhile, high winds and thunderstorms forced the cancellation of around 80 flights at Heathrow last night (Thursday).

Airport operator BAA said about 50 departures and 29 arrivals were affected across a number of airlines as a result of the bad weather from 6.30pm. A spokesman said: “There were cancellations due to the high winds and isolated thunderstorms.

“We were advising passengers who hadn't yet arrived at the airport to check the status of their flights.” He said there were “some delays” to flights, but stressed the timetable had returned to normal by about 9.30pm. BAA expects the schedule to be “running fine” today.


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