Snow stops more than 500 flights in Frankfurt: airport

19th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Frankfurt airport, Germany's busiest, cancelled more than 540 flights Sunday due to heavy snowfall which has created chaos throughout the European air traffic network, a spokeswoman said.

"The snow has been falling again for half an hour and is expected to continue until this evening," she added at about 1230 GMT, predicting further flights from the around 1,300 scheduled to be axed.

More than 1,000 stranded passengers had to spend the night on beds set up in the airport terminals, some for a second night in a row, while others found rooms in nearby hotels.

"The check-in areas are packed with passengers," the spokeswoman said.

Unusually heavy snowfall had already seen hundreds of flights scrapped Friday and Saturday, including several due to severe winter weather at other European airports, as the holiday travel season got underway.

Flag carrier Lufthansa advised passengers to use the German rail service, which was also hit by delays and cancellations.

State-owned rail company Deutsche Bahn asked travellers Sunday to avoid taking trains in the afternoon due to overbooking.

It added in a statement that it had set a lower speed limit for its trains due to icy conditions.

© 2010 AFP

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