Hamburg Airport reopens after power failure affects ‘over 30,000’ travellers

Air travellers were able to breathe a sigh of relief on Monday when Hamburg Airport reopened after a blackout saw two terminals evacuated on Sunday. But people should expect delays with a dozen flights still cancelled.

Hamburg Airport reopens after power failure affects 'over 30,000' travellers
Hamburg Airport reopened on Monday morning. Photo: DPA

Germany’s fifth busiest airport reopened at 6am on Monday after a power outage on Sunday morning caused by a short circuit saw the airport plunge into darkness.

Shortly after 6:30 am a Pegasus flight from Antalya landed at the airport in the Hanseatic city on Monday.

The power outage brought air traffic to a halt at the airport, forcing hundreds of travellers to evacuate the two terminals. Experts were then working at full speed to find out the cause of the short circuit in the airport’s main power supply and to resolve the issue.

“Now we will follow up and work hard to find out what they cause was,” said an airport spokeswoman on Monday morning. The airport did not initially give an explanation as to why the blackout was so severe.

Some travellers will still have to deal with delays, with 23 (out of 214) departing flights and 10 (out of 214) arriving flights cancelled on Monday.

“Air traffic is all jumbled up now,” said a spokeswoman. “That's why the planes aren't here, and that's why they can't start.”

Hamburg announced via Twitter on Sunday that it was forced to shut down the airport due to the outage.  

Travellers were told not to come to the airport and to contact their airline for the status of their flight.

Thousands of passengers were waiting in front of the airport for hours, partly in hope of still being able to take off. According to the airport, it’s probable that over 30,000 passengers were affected by the flight cancellations.

Planes en route to Hamburg were diverted to nearby airports, such as Hanover in Lower Saxony, 150 kilometres to the south.

After the air hub announced that no more flights would be departing on Sunday in the afternoon, travellers made their way home or stayed in nearby hotels.

The airport and the German Red Cross set up camp beds in one of its terminals, where around 90 people spent the night, according to the airport. “It was really a very quiet situation, and can say that the guests are really very understanding,” said the spokeswoman.

Hamburg airport has 200 incoming and outbound flights on an average Sunday and serves more than 17 million passengers each year.

SEE ALSO: Passenger quaffs fine wine blocked by Frankfurt airport security, lands huge fine

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Lufthansa delays flight from Minsk over ‘security warning’

German airline Lufthansa said it delayed the departure of a flight from Minsk to Frankfurt on Monday after it received a "security warning", one day after a forced landing over Belarus.

Lufthansa delays flight from Minsk over 'security warning'
Lufthansa flights await takeoff at Munich Airport. Photo: Christof Stache/AFP

The flight eventually took off for Frankfurt after renewed checks, with all passengers on board.

“The flight took off 10 minutes ago,” an airline spokesman told AFP at about 13.30pm GMT, one day after a forced landing over Belarus. “All passengers were on board as planned.”

The airline announced the delay on Monday morning, saying local Belarusian authorities had wanted to carry out a security check. 

“We are following the directions of the local authorities who are searching the plane again before departure and carrying out security checks again on
passengers,” an airline spokesman said.

Lufthansa said all luggage and freight had been removed from the aircraft, in which there were 51 people including five crew members.

“We regret the inconvenience for the passengers but the security of our passengers, crew and the plane take top priority at Lufthansa,” the spokesman said.

Soon after Lufthansa released its statement, Minsk airport said on its Telegram channel that “all necessary measures” to check the plane and its
passengers had been completed.

“The information about a terror attack, that was received on the airport’s email, wasn’t substantiated,” it said. “The plane is being readied for take-off, luggage is being loaded, boarding has been announced for Lufthansa flight LH1487 Minsk-Frankfurt.”

The security alert came one day after a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius carrying dissident journalist Roman Protasevich was diverted while in
Belarusian airspace over a supposed bomb threat.

Accompanied by a Belarusian fighter jet on the orders of strongman Alexander Lukashenko, the plane landed in Minsk where Protasevich, a
26-year-old who had been living in Lithuania, was arrested along with his Russian girlfriend.