British bomb plot causes worldwide airline chaos

LONDON, Aug 10, 2006 (AFP) – Air travel to and from Britain was plunged into chaos on Thursday in the wake of the discovery of a plot to blow up airlines on transatlantic flights.

Many airlines said they were cancelling all flights to Britain and to the epicentre of the threat, London Heathrow, one of the world’s busiest airports.

The inter-connected nature of international air travel meant that the disruption was rippling out across the world.

British anti-terrorist police said the plot involved explosives concealed in hand luggage, which led to security being beefed up in most of Britain’s airports, a measure which was causing delays.

British Airways said it was stopping all inbound and outbound short-haul European flights from Heathrow, its hub, until 1400 GMT.

“British Airways, along with all other airlines, is experiencing major disruption to its operations at London Heathrow… because of the severe airport congestion, following the introduction of new security arrangements,” the airline said.

Lufthansa of Germany said it was pulling all flights to Britain until 1500 GMT while Spain’s Iberia said none of its flights to Heathrow would take off