More flight de­lays in Bri­tain, Frank­furt

The Pak Banker - - International -

LONDON: Ma­jor de­lays and can­cel­la­tions per­sisted Tues­day at Euro­pean air­ports in­clud­ing London's Heathrow, and on the Eurostar train link, leav­ing thou­sands stranded across Europe as Christ­mas ap­proached.

Pre­dicted snow­fall at Heathrow did not ma­te­ri­al­ize overnight, al­low­ing cleanup crews to in­ten­sify their work, but more than half the flights at Europe's busiest in­ter­na­tional hub were ex­pected to be can­celed. Trav­el­ers were told not to come to the air­port un­less they checked with their air­line to con­firm their flight was op­er­at­ing. Ma­jor de­lays were pro­jected. Eurostar, which links Eng­land to France and Bel­gium by train, also ad­vised pas­sen­gers to can­cel their trips in the com­ing days and re­ceive a full re­fund un­less travel was ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary.

Long lines snaked out­side the St. Pan­cras ter­mi­nal in cen­tral London for the sec­ond day in a row as pas­sen­gers tried to catch their trains. There were prob­lems in Ger­many as well. Fresh snow­fall forced Frank­furt air­port, Ger­many's biggest, to sus­pend take­offs and land­ings for a few hours early Tues­day - the lat­est set­back to be­lea­guered pre-Christ­mas trav­el­ers in Europe and be­yond. Air­port au­thor­i­ties said flights were sus­pended a lit­tle af­ter 5 a.m. (0400 GMT). The first run­way was re­opened for busi­ness at about 8:30 a.m. (0730 GMT) and of­fi­cials were work­ing to clear the rest. Some 300 flights were can­celed. Frank­furt has seen hun­dreds of can­ce­la­tions over re­cent days - of­ten a re­sult of dis­rup­tion else­where in Europe, in­clud­ing ma­jor prob­lems at Heathrow. The sit­u­a­tion in Brus­sels eased overnight as a feared short­age of de-ic­ing liq­uid failed to hap­pen. More flights than ex­pected were able to take off af­ter the air­port man­aged to se­cure enough liq­uid to treat most air­planes de­part­ing Tues­day. "Most flights are ex­pected to op­er­ate as sched­uled, in spite of ad­verse weather con­di­tions," the air­port said on its Twit­ter feed, al­though its de­par­ture board showed more than half of flights ei­ther can­celed or de­layed. -Reuters

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