Melia Pro

Published on Monday, October 16, 2017

Flights cancelled as Hurricane Ophelia approaches

Aer Lingus, British Airways, Air France, Flybe, CityJet, Emirates, KLM and Ryanair have cancelled flights at several UK airports today as Hurricane Ophelia approaches.

Hazardous sea and weather conditions are forecast for Ireland from around midday and are also affecting ferry services.

Up to 130 flights have been cancelled to and from Dublin Airport today but flights at other airports, including Heathrow, have also been affected.

BA said due to strong winds forecast for Monday and Tuesday, it is giving customers travelling to or from Dublin or Belfast on Monday the option to move their travel dates.

Customers travelling to or from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds-Bradford, Manchester or Newcastle on Tuesday can also opt to change their travel dates.

"We expect at times that the winds may be too strong to safely operate loading and unloading vehicles at some UK airports, so some flights are likely to experience delays," it said.

"For safety reasons, there will be a reduction in the number of aircraft from all airlines that can land each hour at Heathrow. This has unfortunately meant we have had to cancel a small number of flights."

Flybe initially said it was cancelling 47 flights on Monday, mainly serving Belfast City, Dublin, Knock and the Isle of Man, but the number later climbed to 170.

Ryanair cancelled more than 60 flights and warned there could be more cancellations and delays.

Stena Line and Irish Ferries have also cancelled ferry sailings.

The Met Office has warned of 'potential danger to life' as Hurricane Ophelia, which has now been downgraded to category 1, heads for the British Isles from the Azores, which hosted the ABTA Convention last week.

An amber warning has been issued for Northern Ireland, where all schools are closed today, while in the Republic of Ireland, Met Eireann has issued a red wind warning and the government has deployed the army.

Met Office chief forecaster Paul Gundersen said: "Ophelia weakened on Sunday night and is now no longer classified as a hurricane. That said, storm force to hurricane force winds of up to 80mph across Northern Ireland, and some areas bordering the Irish Sea will result in travel disruption, power cuts and some damage to buildings such as tiles being blown from roofs."

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