Qantas is gearing up for a return to its full flight schedule from Heathrow following the re-opening of the snow-bound airport's second runway, which has been closed since last weekend.
The airline has listed three out of its four daily flights from Heathrow for today (Wednesday December 22nd, London time) as being on schedule.
These are the QF2 Sydney via Bangkok service (which yesterday raised the ire of some stranded passengers by flying out half-empty); the QF32 Sydney via Singapore service; and QF10's Melbourne via Singapore. The Melbourne via Hong Kong QF30 has been cancelled.
However, all four services are currently listed as operational for Thursday December 23rd, London time– which also sees QF10 earmarked as an Airbus A380.
Tech-savvy travellers can keep an eye on the official @QantasAirways Twitter account for rolling updates plus answers and direct feedback from the airline.
Heathrow airport owner BAA says it can now operate more than two-thirds of scheduled flights as it works to clear the backlog of passengers and planes.
An estimated 800,000 travellers have been caught in the chaos, with BAA chief Colin Matthews opting to forego his 2010 salary bonus after extensive criticism of the airport's management of the snow snap.
Airlines have accused BAA of failing to have sufficient de-icer equipment and fluid, with UK's TV Channel 4 revealing that Heathrow reduced its snow defence budget by two-thirds despite forecasting record passenger numbers."
"BAA reduced its investment in snow clearing equipment from £1.5m last year, to just £500,000 in the current financial year" Channel 4 News reported overnight, compared to an £8m investment at competing international airport Gatwick. Gatwick has 29 snow ploughs in its fleet, one more than Heathrow despite Gatwick being barely one third of the size.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.