The scale of airlines' losses through snow last month have begun to emerge – with disruption at Heathrow alone likely to have cost carriers more than £100m. From figures published yesterday by British Airways, The Independent has calculated that one in eight passengers booked to fly on BA last month had their flight cancelled because of wintry weather.

About 300,000 BA passengers had to abandon or postpone their journeys, many due to a snowstorm that affected the airline's main base at Heathrow.

The airline cancelled more than 2,500 flights in December, losing £50m in the process. The financial hit will continue into January, through lost revenue from passengers who cancelled return journeys in the new year.