Thousands of flights and trains have been cancelled, delayed or diverted because of heavy fog stretching across huge swathes of Britain.

Four major airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, London City and Manchester – have all been impacted by something of a pea soup. According to a spokesperson for Heathrow, 50 flights have been cancelled so far, with one flight, coming in from Calgary, Canada, had to be diverted to Glasgow 350 miles away because it could not land safely in London as the fog was so dense. In total, a staggering 1,300 flights in and out of Heathrow are expected to be affected.

Meanwhile, London City airport issued a statement on social media, saying that fog was causing delays and cancellations, and urging travellers to speak to their airline about the situation before setting off from their home or hotel. Planes could also be seen circling above Manchester in the north as they could not safely come in to land.

Train services

Southeastern train services have also been impacted by the fog. A spokesperson said that drivers were not able to go as fast as possible because of the weather conditions.

The travel chaos brought about by the weather comes as beleagured travellers and commuters have been hit by rail strikes. Also, airport Unions say that, unless a deal can be reached to provide better pay conditions, 1,500 check-in staff, cargo workers and baggage handlers will be striking at major British airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick and Newcastle. The strike will take place on 23 and 24 December, just as people are trying to travel to be with friends and family during the festive season.

Meanwhile, British Airways cabin crew say they will be striking on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and Virgin Atlantic pilots are also set to take action which could mean flights are cancelled during the festive period.