Air Canada Resumes London Flights

Heathrow Airport has given Air Canada permission to resume its full schedule of flights heading to London, beginning Tuesday evening, after turning away aircraft due to snow-clogged runways.

The carrier said it may take more than a week to move all passengers who were booked to travel to and from London, ""due to capacity restrictions at Heathrow,"" and because its aircraft were already heavily booked prior to the holiday season.

Passengers are urged to consult the company website for flight schedule updates before going to the airport. They can also call Air Canada's automated flight information system at 1-888-422-7533.

Due to the high number of cancelled flights out of Heathrow, Air Canada said it will not be able to check passengers and baggage with connecting flights in London on other airlines through to their final destination.

The carrier said these passengers will need to retrieve their baggage upon arrival in London and proceed to check in with the carrier operating their connecting flight.

Earlier Tuesday, Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the airline was only able to operate about one-third of its normal flight schedule to London for the past two days because of the snowy conditions.

While some Canadians have trouble believing just 10 centimetres of snow can affect so many flights, David Learmount, an editor with the industry publication Flightglobal, said a rare combination of circumstances is to blame, not the airport.

It's unusual to have snow at Heathrow at Christmas, he said. Plus, the snow is wet and heavy, and is sitting on a thin layer of ice on the tarmac. Learmount said planes can't land on that.

He noted Heathrow doesn't have enough equipment to quickly melt the snow because it isn't usually a problem. "