Heavy fog caused the cancellation of more than 200 flights at London area airports on Sunday during the Christmas rush. Heathrow Airport was the worst effected, with 169 incoming or outgoing flights canceled, according to British airports operator BAA PLC.
"Heathrow escaped the severe fog that had hampered other airports in the London area on Friday and Saturday, but it hit us today," spokesman Stuart Butcher said.
He said many of the cancellations involved short-haul or domestic British Airways flights.
He said the fog remained heavy at Heathrow at sunset, but that forecasters said it would lift later, opening the possibility that stranded passengers would be able to board other flights. No flights were able to take off or land at London's City Airport on Sunday due to the fog, forcing about 30 short haul flights to be canceled, airport spokeswoman Rupa Haria said.
"Conditions are not improving at the moment, there is very heavy fog and we are trying to book passengers on to other flights," she said.
Butcher said Heathrow had served 214,000 passengers on incoming and outgoing flights on Saturday, and about 181,000 were scheduled on Sunday.
Gatwick Airport also was having problems with the fog on Sunday, but was experiencing far fewer cancellations than Heathrow. Karen Reeves, BAA's spokeswoman there, said 21 outgoing short haul flights had been canceled at Gatwick by 1800 GMT. She said 700 flights are scheduled daily at Gatwick at this time of the year, the height of the Christmas traveling season.
Airport officials urged passengers to call their carrier before traveling to the airports.