New security concerns have prompted Air France and British Airways to cancel
flights to the United States.
Air France officials Saturday canceled two flights
from Paris to Washington scheduled for Sunday and Monday. The action came only
hours after British Airways
announced the cancellation of flights to Washington and Miami.
Officials from the British airline said Flight 223 from London's Heathrow
airport to Washington's Dulles airport would not fly Sunday or Monday. Flight
207 from Heathrow to Miami also will be grounded Sunday.
A U.S. official said Saturday that U.S. intelligence indicates al-Qaida may
be targeting flights from Europe to the United States. The intelligence is
said to be similar to information that prompted a wave of flight cancellations
and delays during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
British Airways Flight 223 was canceled twice in early January, and was delayed
several times. Air France canceled six flights between Paris and Los Angeles
during Christmas week.
Also Saturday, officials for Virgin Atlantic Airlines reported that a flight
from London's Heathrow Airport to New York's Kennedy Airport was forced to
turn back after the captain detected a burning smell in the cabin.
The plane carrying 181 passengers landed safely back in London.
An airline spokesman said the decision to return was a safety precaution,
and was not related to security concerns.