Hundreds of flights cancelled in Germany amid heavy snow and black ice

DPA/The Local
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Hundreds of flights cancelled in Germany amid heavy snow and black ice
A machine removes ice from a Lufthansa plane at Frankfurt's airport on Wednesday morning. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

Flights and trains were cancelled around Germany amid heavy snowfall in several parts of the country.


Heavy snowfall and extremely icy conditions hit Germany, especially in the centre and south of the country, according to the German Weather Service (DWD). In some regions, up to 40 centimetres of snow within 24 hours were expected.

Frankfurt Airport has slashed several flights due to the forecast snowfall. According to the operating company Fraport, only a very limited number of flights will be able to operate until Thursday. 

A Frankfurt airport spokeswoman said 570 of 1,047 flights had been axed from the schedule by late morning as Germany's business capital prepared for dramatic weather conditions.

By early afternoon, all remaining departures were struck from the schedule due to the onset of freezing rain although landings were still possible, a spokesman said. It was not immediately clear how long the disruption would continue.

Munich airport also reported "significant restrictions in flight service" due to bad weather, with 250 of 650 scheduled flights cancelled throughout the day.

Flag carrier Lufthansa advised passengers to confirm that their flights were still scheduled before setting off for airports.

Meanwhile Saarbrücken Airport cancelled its flight operations completely on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: 'Full-blown storm' - Germany hit by heavy snow and icy conditions

Air traffic at Berlin's BER airport was also affected. A total of 20 flights to and from Frankfurt (ten take-offs and ten landings each) and ten flights to and from Munich (five take-offs and five landings each) were cancelled Wednesday.

Passengers travelling to Frankfurt or Munich were asked to check their flight status regularly.

Lufthansa is travelling with a limited flight schedule. At its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, it will only be able to offer the most essential flights in accordance with airport regulations, a spokesperson said.


Train delays and traffic accidents

Police there reported an "accumulation of accidents" on roads near Baden-Baden while a 34-year-old driver in neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate crashed into a tree and died after skidding off a rural road.

Firefighters and other first responders in Rhineland-Palatinate had prepared for a rash of road accidents and other emergencies by calling up
extra staff and vehicles. They urged motorists not to take to the roads unless unavoidable.

National rail company Deutsche Bahn said it was slowing down its high-speed trains due to slick conditions.

It warned of delays and cancellations in its regional and long-distance network, particularly between the western cities of Cologne and Frankfurt.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Which trains are cancelled in Germany this Wednesday?

According to a spokeswoman, Deutsche Bahn is preparing "intensively" for the forecast weather conditions. 

For example, employees in the affected regions are ready to clear points or ensure traffic safety at level crossings, she said. Clearance vehicles and heavy locomotives were available at strategically important points on the railway network. 

School closures

In some districts of Bavaria, lessons have werecancelled or were held from home due to the weather conditions. 

As the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs in Munich announced on Tuesday, the school cancellations affected numerous districts. These include, for example, Altötting, Tirschenreuth and Ansbach.


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