European Snow Storms Travel Update: Flight Cancellations And Train Delays

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European Snow Storm
A man uses cross-country skis to make his way across the snow-covered Champs de Mars near the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Portions of Europe that were brought to a standstill over the past five days crawled back into action on Tuesday, though lingering snow storms continued to make travel by land and sky difficult.

Europe’s three busiest airports, London Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt International, have cancelled hundreds of flights since last Thursday as snow and freezing weather grip the continent.

Charles de Gaulle and nearby Orly Airport were limited to 60 percent of service on Monday, while Frankfurt had the largest number of departures canceled. By Tuesday, the airports in Paris had returned to normal and Frankfurt reported just 45 cancellations.

Heathrow, which scrapped 196 flights on Monday and was harshly criticized for its slow response to the storm, said on Tuesday that the airport was fully operational, “although there may be some disruption to flights due to weather conditions in the United Kingdom and across Europe.” London’s largest airport reported an additional 48 cancellations on Tuesday, bringing the total since Friday to 1,050. A spokesperson urged travelers to check the status of their flights before heading out.

Many regional airports in the UK like Norwich, Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, East Midlands and Leeds Bradford also reopened Tuesday morning. Manchester Airport, which closed briefly on Monday, said services were returning to normal.

On the ground, Eurostar was running with average delays of about an hour, though at least six train services linking London with Brussels and Paris were cancelled due to speed restrictions on tracks in northern France. Delays were also reported on the East Coast Main Line, Greater Anglia services, Southern and Southeastern services.

The heavy snow and icy conditions also closed two major roads traversing the Pennines and a large portion of a motorway near Berlin.

Cities across northern Europe saw record-breaking snowfall this past week, which officials have blamed for at least seven deaths. Vienna received the most snow it’s seen in 26 years, while Moscow saw more snow over the past four days than it typically sees in the entire month of January.

The Met Office warned of icy conditions across the UK Tuesday and up to 10cm (4 inches) of snow for northern England and Scotland. Freezing conditions will likely linger for the remainder of the week before milder weather returns over the weekend.

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