The Spanish Interior ministry has ordered a tightening of airport security on all flights bound for the UK or USA as a precautionary measure in light of yesterday's terror alert at London's Heathrow airport, which finally re-opened at 8pm yesterday evening.
Iberia confirmed that they cancelled 13 flights to London yesterday; six from Madrid, three from Barcelona, and one each from Valencia, Bilbao, Sevilla and La Coruña, while Easyjet, Ryanair and British Airways cancelled all their flights yesterday.
The first British Airways flight to Heathrow took off from Barajas just over an hour and a quarter late at 8.17am this morning, while the first Iberia flight left at 8.43am, two minutes ahead of schedule. Iberia have announced that it expects no cancellations on any of its flights to the English capital today, and have confirmed that an Airbus 340-600 will be used on the 1.15pm flight instead of the usual Airbus 320, providing seats for an extra 380 passengers.
Hand luggage restrictions announced yesterday remain in force with passengers only being allowed to take essential items with them such as wallets, travel documents, non-battery operated keys, glasses but not glasses cases, contact lenses but no fluids, baby foods and nappies, essential medicines and feminine hygiene products. The US authorities have also banned any liquids or gels in hand luggage on any flights leaving or entering the country.
Delays and cancellations on UK flights after terror alert
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Iberia have cancelled four flights to London after Heathrow airport was closed temporarily earlier today to allow British police to deal with an alleged terrorist threat. Furthermore, AENA airport operators have warned passengers travelling to and from London and other UK destinations that they could face lengthy delays as a result of the security measures imposed.
Two Iberia flights from Madrid's Barajas airport have been cancelled, and delays are forecast on all Iberia, Easyjet and British Airways flights out of Barcelona today. So far only one of Iberia's four scheduled flights to the English capital from Barcelona has been cancelled, but the company has said that it is not ruling out further cancellations. One flight from Bilbao has been cancelled as well as two Ryanair flghts in and out of Zaragoza, while passengers on 30 flights out of Palma's Son Sant Joan airport to London, Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester have been told to expect lengthy delays.
UK-bound passengers are being advised to contact the relevant airline company for the latest news about the situation, and passengers with stop-overs at UK airports are being told that their luggage cannot be checked in to their final destinations as a result of the enhanced security measures in place.
There is also a ban on hand luggage for all passengers travelling to the UK, although passengers are being allowed to take essential items such as wallets, keys, glasses, medicines and baby food. Battery operated items such as mobile phones or computers should be checked in and travel in the luggage hold.