Malta flights cancelled, delayed because of European weather
Profile Facts-A number of flights to and from Malta were cancelled or delayed today because of the extreme weather conditions in Europe.
The first flight cancelled was the Airmalta/Lufthansa morning flight to and from Frankfurt, Germany.
Ryanair's to and from Pisa, Italy was initially delayed but it was then eventually cancelled. This was followed by Easyjet's flights to and from Gatwick and Manchester.
Also delayed are the Air Malta/BMI flights to and from Heathrow and Gatwick and the Malta/Lufthansa flight to and from Frankfurt.
In Spain, air traffic controllers staged a mass 'sick day' in protest over austerity measures but as military controllers took over emergency services, the government invoked special emergency powers and warned that the controllers' action threatened national security.
"If the situation doesn't normalise, the government will declare a state of alert," Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Rubalcaba told an emergency cabinet meeting.
"The controllers will be mobilised and if they don't get back to work, their cases will be passed immediately to the judiciary and they will be accused of a crime which could mean a prison sentence."
The Spanish army took over air control towers on Friday after unofficial strike action by controllers grounded planes and disrupted travel for around 250,000 people on one of Spain's busiest holiday weekends.
If enough controllers do not show up for work Saturday to restore normal flight operations, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero affirmed that he intended to declare a national emergency that would force them to do so, Rubalcaba said.
No-show controllers will face unspecified criminal charges punishable by "serious prison time," he said.
By Saturday afternoon, as many as two-thirds of air controllers were back at work but officials in various Spanish airports said the damage had been done and it would take at least a day before normal air services can resume.