Heathrow operates flights throughout the night to clear backlog
December 22nd, 2010 by elisa

Flights from Heathrow will be able to operate throughout the night this week as the Government gives the go ahead in order to help clear the huge backlog of passengers stuck there over the snow chaos.

Heathrow has already admitted it was unprepared for such severe weather despite spending around £500,000 on snow and de-icing equipment in preparation for this winter. It has acknowledged it needs to invest more in the future.

Heathrow boss, Colin Matthews, has announced that he will not take his bonus this year. He told the Associated Press:  “I have decided to give up my bonus for the current year. My focus is on keeping people moving and rebuilding confidence in Heathrow.”

Heathrow Airport’s second runway reopened on Tuesday night and plans to run around two-thirds of flights today but travellers are warned not to expect services to return to normal at once.

It said airlines are now updating their services on the Heathrow website – If a flight is showing as ‘contact airline’ it means it is not operating.

“This limited schedule provides airlines and passengers with more clarity in order to plan which flights are taking off and which are cancelled,” said Heathrow.

“We aim to provide passengers with better and more timely information.”

A statement from Heathrow added: “We are sorry for the disruption caused and will reflect carefully on the lessons we can learn and the steps we need to take to better prepare for these periods of poor weather.”

Meanwhile, Gatwick has spent £1m on new snow ploughs this year and plans to spend a further £7m next year. It has 150 staff working to clear the snow and ice, compared to 50 snow and ice-clearing specialists at Heathrow.

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