Airlines, airports, ferry companies and rail operators were struggling to maintain schedules this morning in the wake of the severe winter storm which continued to batter parts of the UK.
Amid warnings that further gales and rain would hit Northern Ireland and Scotland today, travel organisations faced an uphill struggle trying to resume normal Christmas Eve schedules.
Aircraft diverted from Gatwick to Liverpool and Manchester yesterday due to congestion at Stansted, Luton and Birmingham.
EasyJet said high winds and heavy rain were forecast to continue throughout today (Tuesday).
“EasyJet plans to operate all of our flights during this period however we do expect some delays and disruption as a result of the weather conditions,” the airline said.
“Road and rail networks are also expected to be affected so we recommend that you check with your transport provider before departing to the airport, take extra care and allow plenty of time for your journey.”
Heathrow advised passengers to check the status of their flights with airlines this morning as there are cancellations and delays due to severe weather overnight.
Heathrow warned: “Following severe weather overnight there may be some disruption to flights on Tuesday 24 December. Passengers are advised to check the status of their flight with their airline prior to travelling to the airport.
“Road and rail networks are also expected to be disrupted, so please allow extra time for your journey.”
Gatwick was suffering technical issues with facilities in the North Terminal due to severe weather conditions over night. The airport issued an apology this morning for ongoing problems due to a “major power outage” in the North Terminal. Engineers are trying to resolve this.
Train services in and out of Gatwick were also suspended earlier this morning due to the adverse weather with passengers being advised to seek alternative modes of transport.
The port of Dover was forced to shut due to gales with many cross channel ferry services cancelled this morning.
In an update at 5.45am, the port said: “Due to adverse weather conditions, with winds currently between 45 and 50 knots, the Port of Dover remains closed.
“The primary concern of the port and ferry operators is the safety of customers and staff.”
Passengers are being advised to check with their ferry operator before travelling and consult the website (www.doverport.co.uk) or twitter account (@Port_of_Dover) for the latest information.
“We will continue monitoring the situation closely in liaison with the ferry operators in order to re-open the port as soon as possible once it is safe to do so. Please note that there may be delays to services when the port re-opens,” Dover said.
Brittany Ferries cancelled or delay a number of crossings with one vessel en-route to Bilbao in northern Spain forced to shelter off the coast of France overnight.
A person on one of its ferries had to be airlifted off after sustaining an injury, possibly because of the bad weather, the company said.
Main rail services will not start until 10am this morning to ensure lines are cleared of fallen trees, debris and flooding, leading to possible delays and cancellations as travellers struggle to get home for Christmas.
Southwest Trains, which operates out of London Waterloo, reported 28 trees blocking lines and six areas of flooding across its network.
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