Storm Arwen Causes Weekend Of Disruption For UK Airlines

Travel in the UK was subjected to extensive disruption this weekend due to the impacts of Storm Arwen. The adverse weather constituted the country’s first named winter storm of the 2021-22 season, and hampered airline operations across the nation. With rail services also disrupted, it has been a difficult few days for passengers making long domestic journeys.

High winds disrupted airport operations in certain parts of the UK. Photo: Ronnie Robertson via Flickr

Missed approaches and diversions

The last few days in the UK have been characterized by low temperatures, high winds, and even snowfall in certain parts of the country. Such conditions make for challenging conditions in which to operate commercial flights. As such, several UK domestic services had to make multiple landing attempts over the weekend, with diversions also occurring.

For example, Edinburgh Live reports that easyJet flight U2429 from Bristol to Edinburgh made multiple missed approaches in the Scottish capital on Friday evening. Data from shows that, having left Bristol at 19:12, the flight eventually landed at 21:16.

However, owing to the weather conditions and missed approaches in Edinburgh, the landing ended up taking place in Glasgow instead. As you can see from the map below, the aircraft also had to perform a go-around there, before landing at the second attempt.

EasyJet flight U2429 had to divert to Glasgow due to the adverse weather. Image:

Widespread delays and cancelations

While the aforementioned easyJet flight took longer than usual had to divert and took longer than usual, it did at least make it off the ground. In some instances, the weather was severe enough to warrant cancelations. For late-evening flights that couldn’t take to the skies, this meant that some passengers had to stay overnight in airport terminals.

According to Chronicle Live, this was the case for around 50 Ryanair passengers at Newcastle Airport. These unfortunate travelers from flight FR5159 to Malaga, Spain were meant to depart at 19:20 on Friday evening. Their planned arrival time in Malaga was 23:25.

However, the weather meant that this couldn’t happen until 13:11 on Saturday. The flight eventually reached Malaga at 16:49 that afternoon, representing an overall delay of 17 hours and 24 minutes. Frustratingly for the passengers, they had got as far as boarding the plane on Friday. They sat on the apron for three hours before having to get back off.

High winds have characterized recent UK weather conditions. Photo: Getty Images

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Unsafe to disembark

Even flights that ran more or less to plan were not always free of disruption. This was the case for British Airways flight BA1312 from London Heathrow to Aberdeen on Friday. The service ran around 40 minutes late, arriving at 16:04 instead of 15:25. However, it was at least able to land in Scotland’s third-most populous at the first time of asking.

However, the high winds prevailing at the airport meant that, according to The Press And Journal, passengers were unable to disembark. This was because the conditions meant that it was unsafe to attach the steps that would otherwise have enabled this process. After around two hours, they were eventually able to leave between 18:00 and 18:30.

What did you make of the UK’s adverse weather this weekend? Did you have to change your travel plans as a result of Storm Arwen? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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