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British Airways cancels 100 Heathrow flights on day of Queen’s funeral

Fifteen per cent of flights at Heathrow will be disrupted, with 200 cancellations total. Air space will be restricted at certain points of the day on Monday 19 September as a mark of respect, impacting airlines’ flight schedules

Flight operations at Heathrow will be disrupted on Monday 19 September, when the state funeral of the Queen takes place at Westminster Abbey in London. British Airways has confirmed that around 100 flights will be affected.

With the funeral schedule running from 8am, when the doors of Westminster Abbey open for the congregation to begin taking their seats, to 10.44am when the Queen’s coffin will leave Westminster Hall, through to the end of the service around noon and the arrival of the procession in Windsor around 3pm, there will be a sombre tone throughout the day. A family service will take place at Windsor Castle around 7.30pm.

As a mark of respect, Heathrow Airport – which is around 10 miles east of Windsor with a flight path crossing central London and more than 500 daily arrivals and departures – has said that operations to and from the airport will be “subject to appropriate changes in order to avoid noise disruption at… specific times on Monday.” Airlines have been instructed to adjust their flying schedules accordingly.

Air space in central London will go quiet for half an hour either side of a two-minute national silence just before midday on Monday, as well as during the funeral processions in London and Windsor and the private family service.

British Airways, which holds more than 50 per cent of the take off and landing slots at Heathrow, cancelled 16 short-haul flights during the ceremonial procession of the Queen’s coffin to Westminster Hall on Wednesday afternoon. The airline has confirmed that it will reduce its flying schedule on the day of the funeral. In a statement it said that this would be “around 50 short-haul roundtrip cancellations across the day”, focused on routes with multiple frequencies. The airline will add larger aircraft to these routes “where possible to help customers rebook onto operating services.”

Long-haul BA services will not be subject to cancellation but could be re-timed. Meanwhile, services at London Gatwick and London City airports are due to operate as planned.

Other carriers at Heathrow likely to be affected include Aer Lingus, Brussels Airlines, TAP Portugal, KLM, Lufthansa, Icelandair and Eurowings.

Virgin Atlantic has cancelled four US-bound flights from Heathrow on Monday and one cargo flight, “with all customers rebooked on to an alternative service on the same day, wherever possible.” It will move its 3.05pm departure to Las Vegas to 11.30am.

Heathrow Airport has confirmed that flights will be diverted around Windsor Castle “to minimise noise during the private family service and internment.” Air space restrictions will be in place during the following times on Monday:

  • 11.40am-12.10pm: no aircraft movements to support the national two-minute silence at the end of the funeral
  • 1.45pm-2.20pm: no arrivals during the procession of the hearse to Windsor
  • 3.05pm-4.45pm: no departures during the ceremonial procession to Windsor Castle
  • 4.45pm-9pm: reduced departure rate during the private committal service at St George’s Chapel

Passengers whose flights are affected should be contacted by their airline directly and given the option to reschedule or have the cost of their cancelled flight refunded.

British Airways cancels 100 Heathrow flights on day of Queen’s funeral

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