Sunday, December 20, 2009

Weather forces airport closures, cancellations

Icy conditions and heavy snowfalls forced the closure on Sunday of Düsseldorf airport – Germany’s third largest – and also caused havoc at the key transport hub of Frankfurt.

Many flights at Frankfurt, which is Germany’s largest airport and a hub for Europe, were cancelled or redirected, a spokeswoman for the airport said. She added that the airport was expecting snowfalls until Sunday evening, causing further disruption.

By the early afternoon, at least 50 flights had been cancelled at Frankfurt, and 15 others had been redirected to Stuttgart or Munich. These were partly due to changes to flight plans

The temperature fell to -30 degrees Celsius in parts of Germany overnight, while the average temperatures across the country on Sunday languished around -10 to -15 degrees.

A police spokesman in Düsseldorf (so not far from us and our home in Bochum) said: “Air traffic has been halted since this morning” and added he did not know when the airport would reopen.

The airport's website offered stricken passengers an information hotline.

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