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Gulf flights caught in UK airport snow chaos

Pedestrians walk over the Millennium Bridge with St Paul's Cathedral pictured in the background as snow falls over central London. Heavy snow fell across northern and central parts of England and Wales and caused disruption, closing roads and grounding flights. (AFP)
LONDON: The worst snow storms to hit the UK in four years have caused widespread disruption with hundreds of passengers flying to and from the Gulf caught up in the chaos.

Some flights were grounded while others were delayed as runways were covered in a blanket of snow that led Britain’s Met Office to issue an “amber weather warning” – especially across central England.

Flights operated by Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad that were due to land at Birmingham Airport on Sunday morning were either diverted or delayed as the runway was closed.

Airports at Stansted, Gatwick, Heathrow, and London City Airports were all affected — while flights were unable to land at Luton.

Airports urged passengers to check their flight status before leaving home.

An Etihad Airways spokesperson said: “Etihad Airways is experiencing minor delays to its London Heathrow flights as a result of the adverse weather conditions. The airline continues to monitor the situation and has contingency plans in place should there be any disruption to its flight schedule.”

There was 28 centimeters of snow recorded in Sennybridge, in Wales with 12 centimeters falling in High Wycombe, north of the capital.

“Road, rail and air travel delays are likely, as well as stranding of vehicles and public transport cancelations. There is a good chance that some rural communities could become cut off, the Met Office said in a statement.

Temperatures in the UK were expected fall to as low as -10C in some parts of Scotland and Wales on Sunday.