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Hurricane Sandy grounds German-US flights

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Photo: DPA
11:12 CET+01:00
Airlines have cancelled flights between Germany and the American east coast due to hurricane Sandy, which is causing havoc along that region.

Lufthansa cancelled four flights from German airports to New York, and four more coming in the other direction. This comes after the airline cancelled 13 flights during Monday and Tuesday. Air Berlin flights have also been hit - but a spokeswoman said on Wednesday one flight would head from each of Berlin and Düsseldorf to New York that afternoon.

As a hurricane is classed as an act of God under EU regulation, passengers who have had their flights cancelled are not entitled to compensation, Die Welt newspaper said. They should be offered a free flight home, but long waiting times are expected.

Mass evacuations have taken place in New York and the stock exchange was shut down on Monday as the east coast prepared for what could be a very violent storm. The German embassy in Washington closed its doors on Monday and although the consulate in New York remained open, it was only offering limited services.

A number of giant cruise ships have left New York harbour to moor up in safer waters. German liner the Aida Luna was supposed to head for the Caribbean on Monday but instead left New York for Miami, Der Spiegel magazine said.

It left behind 100 of the 2,000 passengers who should have been flying back to Germany, but instead have been put up in hotels in the city until the storm passes.

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DPA/DAPD/The Local/jcw

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