Travel chaos as snow storms hit parts of Europe

Bad winter weather affects travellers' plans in the UK, Ireland and Germany

A Lufthansa aircraft is parked at the snow-covered Munich airport after all flights were cancelled on Saturday following a winter storm. AP
Powered by automated translation

Flights were grounded across Europe this weekend as heavy winter storms affected travel.

Glasgow airport in Scotland cancelled all flights on Saturday morning as it experienced heavy snow and temperatures plunged as low as minus 12.5ºC, the lowest recorded since March.

Operations have since resumed, with Britain's Met Office issuing a yellow warning for ice across northern England, the Midlands and northern Wales. The warning is in place until midday on Monday.

Several flights were also cancelled or delayed to and from Dublin airport in the Republic of Ireland, according to The Irish Independent.

Elsewhere, in the north of England, Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service said it worked through the night on Saturday to get drivers out of cars stuck in deep snow.

It is a similar story across other parts of Europe, including Munich, in Germany, where more than 700 flights were grounded at the airport on Saturday after a snow storm hit the south, along with parts of Austria, Switzerland and Czech Republic.

Flights were cancelled until Sunday morning, with other airports, such as in Zurich, London and Vienna, reporting delays of an hour or more, according to tracking service Flightaware.

Officials warned of potential avalanches in parts of Austria and Switzerland, particularly in the provinces of Tyrol and Vorarlberg as the region received up to 50 centimetres of snow on Saturday.

Rail travel has also been affected, as trains in and out of Munich's central station were halted and Germany's national railway operator advised travellers to delay or reroute journeys.

Deutsche Bahn said rail traffic would be “impacted severely” until Monday.

Some passengers in the city even spent Friday night on trains due to the disruption, reported news agency DPA.

Austrian railway company OBB also closed various train lines across the country on Saturday.

Several regional trains were halted in the southern part of the Czech Republic as cross-border routes between Austria and Germany did not operate.

On Friday, The Guardian reported deaths across Eastern Europe due to heavy snowfall. Over the past week, thousands of towns and villages in Moldova, Ukraine and Bulgaria were affected by blizzards and left without electricity. In Moldova, four people were reported dead, with 10 people announced dead across Odesa, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Kyiv regions in Ukraine.

Updated: December 04, 2023, 7:09 AM