|Etihad Airways الإتحاد|
Germany appeared the hardest hit by the snow, with more than 600 flights canceled, schools forced to close and highways clogged with traffic after scores of accidents that killed at least three people and injured dozens Abu Dhabi: Raging snowstorms in Europe delayed two incoming Etihad Airways الإتحاد’ flights to Abu Dhabi earlier on Saturday, a spokesperson for the airline told Gulf News.
“There were two minor delays on EY012 London-Abu Dhabi and EY042 Dublin-Abu Dhabi flights this morning due to de-icing requirements, but at this stage all other flights are operating to schedule,” the spokesperson said.
Etihad Airways has not cancelled any flights due to the severe weather that is currently affecting western Europe. Etihad continues to monitor the situation closely,” the spokesperson added.
No disruption for Emirates
A spokesperson for Emirates airline said flights to the UK and Europe were operating as scheduled.
“Weather conditions are being monitored closely and customers are advised to check the status of their flight on emirates.com for possible changes or delays. Flight information will be updated on the website every 5 minutes,” said the spokesperson.
Britain and the rest of Europe struggled under fresh dumps of snow on Saturday as hundreds of new flights were cancelled and Christmas getaway plans were thrown into disarray on what is traditionally the busiest weekend for travellers before Christmas.
Heathrow and Gatwick shut
Planes were grounded at London airports, and British Airways (BA) said all its flights departing from Heathrow and Gatwick airports have been cancelled between 1000 and 1700 on Saturday.
A BA spokesman said: “Severe disruption is expected today at all London airports. As a result all flights departing from London Heathrow will be cancelled between 1000 and 1700 UK time. Please do not travel to the airport if you are due to depart between these times."
Passengers were advised not to go to the airport unless they had a confirmed booking on a new flight. Overnight blizzards and plummeting temperatures buckled a huge chunk of British and continental Europe’s road and rail networks as the latest blast of wintery weather showed little sign of easing. Further problems were expected at Gatwick and in Ireland, Scotland and Wales airports, Met officials said.
Life out of gear in Europe
Heavy overnight snowfall disrupted air travel across western Europe, forcing more than 800 flight cancellations and leading to major delays in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Germany appeared the hardest hit by the snow, with more than 600 flights canceled, schools forced to close and highways clogged with traffic after scores of accidents that killed at least three people and injured dozens.
Snow also hindered flights in the neighbouring Netherlands, where Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport saw more than 100 cancellations and major delays ahead of the busy Christmas holiday season, spokeswoman Mirjam Snoerwang said. The European control agency eurocontrol said passengers at Schiphol, one of continental Europe's busiest airports, had to expect delays of up to 4 1/2 hours.
Dutch weather agency KNMI issued a "weather alarm" warning of heavy snowfall and lethal driving conditions in large parts of the western Netherlands as traffic jams grew around major cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.
Flights cancelled in Switzerland, Germany
Snow also forced the cancellation of about 100 flights in Switzerland, where Geneva's airport was closed early Friday morning, though it was open again by midmorning, and flights were also disrupted in Zurich.
In Frankfurt, continental Europe's second-biggest hub, 470 flights had been canceled by late afternoon, airport spokesman Gunnar Scheunemann said. The airport had to be closed for about an hour late Thursday, and an estimated 1,000 passengers were stranded overnight. About 8 inches (20 centimetres) of snow blanketed the state overnight, also causing the closure of schools around Frankfurt and elsewhere in Hesse.
Munich airport, Germany's second-largest, reported 113 cancellations and major delays" Duesseldorf and Stuttgart saw more than 20 cancelations each. Roads were clogged, and in North-Rhine Westphalia state alone authorities reported traffic jams of more than 185 kilometers (115 miles) on highways, and 251 weather-related accidents that left 19 people injured.
Two men died in a traffic accident in the southern state of Bavaria, according to authorities. The men, 54 and 44 years old, were trying to help a friend pull his car out of snow near Straubing late Thursday when they were struck by an oncoming car, police said in a statement. In Hesse state a 40-year-old woman died in a pileup on a highway near Frankfurt, police added.
Premier League matches called off
Liverpool's home match against Fulham is one of three Premier League games to be called off because of poor weather conditions in northwest England. After taking advice from the police, Liverpool said "the conditions around the stadium and further afield for people traveling to the match" were too hazardous for Saturday's game to go ahead.
Wigan's home match against Aston Villa was also postponed because of the "freak" weather conditions to have hit the northwest. Wigan said 10 inches of snow fell overnight in the town, meaning "public transport isn't running, there are motorway closures and the general condition of the surrounding routes is treacherous." Liverpool and Wigan said their pitches would have been playable. Birmingham later called off its match against Newcastle.