Snow storm across UK hits airline stocks

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^FTSE6,685.23+10.49
AELGF2.220.00

LONDON (ShareCast) - Airline stocks were hampered by cancellations and delays on Friday as a blanket of snow spread across the UK.

Airports, roads and railways have all been hit by the flurry of wintery weather, which prompted the Met Office to issue a rare 'red' warning earlier in the day for Wales and the west of England. Areas 'red' warnings could potentially see up to 30cm of snow.

Meanwhile, 'amber' warnings were given for Northern Ireland and the majority of England.

Over 3,000 schools up and down the country are reported to have closed today, according to the BBC.

Heathrow Airport in London was forced to cancel 347 flights today, around a quarter of all scheduled,

Gatwick Airport was still operating as of 16:30, though the live message board showed around 30 delayed flights. However, the airport remained optimistic about weekend travel, saying on its official Twitter page: "The latest from the Met Office is that snow will stop later this afternoon and that there will only be flurries tomorrow. Clear on Sunday."

British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group was among the worst performers on the FTSE 100 (FTSE: ^FTSE - news) this afternoon.

BA's Twitter page sent this message out to customers: "Winter weather is forecast for the UK this w/end. We are offering those travelling the flexibility to change flights."

Shares in Irish airline Aer Lingus (Other OTC: AELGF - news) and budget operator Ryanair were also in the red.

Snow and blizzards are expected to remain over parts of the UK this weekend.