England is experiencing an unprecedented heatwave. Extreme temperatures of over 40 degrees are also expected in the coming days. Several railway companies even advise passengers not to travel. Taking a plane instead comes with risks.
The extreme heat has caused significant disruption at London's Luton Airport. The airport said the surface of the runway had been damaged by the high temperatures. Repair work is currently in progress. According to reports, several flights had to be canceled or diverted.
Temperatures of over 40 degrees were expected for large parts of England and the capital London at the beginning of the week. A heat record was already reported in Wales on Monday. With 37.1 degrees in the Welsh county of Flintshire, the part of the country recorded its hottest day since records began. Record values were also expected for the whole of Great Britain.
According to Sky News, the Brize Norton military airport is also said to have suspended flights. The runway was "melted," a military source told the station.
Because of the extreme temperatures, some schools in England also remained closed. Several railway companies advised train passengers not to travel this Monday and Tuesday. Operations on the London to York and Leeds rail route have been suspended for Tuesday between 11am and 7pm due to concerns about heat damage.
The British Meteorological Service's chief meteorologist, Paul Gundersen, said the record heat was clearly due to climate change. He and his colleagues are concerned that "unprecedented" hot days like this could become a regular phenomenon by the end of the century.
Leading members of the British government apparently saw no cause for concern. Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson stayed away from a crisis meeting on the issue over the weekend - which promptly drew sharp criticism. His deputy Dominic Raab called for "enjoying" the sunshine.