LONDON: Heathrow Airport said on Monday (Dec 11) disruptions were expected to continue after the heaviest snowfall in four years in Britain caused travel mayhem the previous day, while more than 300 flights were cancelled at Germany's busiest airport.
Thousands of passengers were left stranded on Sunday at London's Heathrow Airport, one of the world's busiest, after the cancellation of hundreds of flights, with many taking to Twitter to complain.
Heathrow Airport said disruptions were expected to continue. "Some flights at Heathrow will be disrupted today due to crew and aircraft being out of position following yesterday’s weather," it said in a Facebook post on Monday.
"We are working with our airline partners to return aircraft to where they need to be and full service recovery remains the focus."
British Airways, whose primary hub is Heathrow, had cancelled more than 140 short-haul flights and 26 long-haul flights on Sunday, leaving tens of thousands of passengers detained at the airport.
Meanwhile, Birmingham airport, serving the country's second biggest city, suspended flights for all of Sunday morning, as staff worked to clear the runway in heavy snow. The airport typically handles around 30,000 passengers and 200 flights a day in December.
London's Luton Airport, which closed its runway for two hours on Sunday, advised passengers to check their flights before travelling to the airport.
Swathes of Britain were hit by the snowfall on Sunday, particularly in central and western regions, according to the official weather service.
Sennybridge, in Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, topped the records with 30 centimetres (12 inches), while Coleshill, close to Birmingham, received 10cm, it reported.
Police forces in worst-hit Wales and central England urged motorists not to travel unless "absolutely necessary" as they dealt with surging calls.
A spokesman for the Highways England agency said there had been road incidents "all over the place". The flurries continued to fall into the afternoon, threatening to block roads.
Meanwhile, light snow and sleet fell through the morning in London, leaving Northolt, on the outskirts of the capital, with a covering of 2cm, the Met Office said.
"We've gone through the worst of it," said spokesman Oli Claydon in the early afternoon. He said the last time Britain saw this much heavy snow nationwide was March 2013, and during the winter of 2010.
In Germany, more than 300 flights were cancelled on Sunday after heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures struck the region around Frankfurt, a spokesman for airport operator Fraport told reporters.
The airport - Germany's largest air hub and the home base for major carrier Lufthansa - had been scheduled to handle a total of 1,260 flights over the day.
Duesseldorf airport was also forced to close for four hours during the afternoon. Meanwhile, trains were delayed, redirected or cancelled across western North Rhine-Westphalia state.
FERRY RUNS AGROUND
In France, a ferry with more than 300 people on board ran aground in high winds in Calais, interrupting traffic in one of Europe's busiest passenger ports but causing no injuries.
Having been stranded for several hours, the P&O vessel was secured and passengers were finally able to disembark after they were given food and drinks.
The ferry, The Pride of Kent, ran aground around noon after it hit a gangway while making to leave for Dover in southeast England.
Five tug boats were used in the operation to free the vessel, as winds gusting at up to 110 kilometres (70 miles) per hour made the task difficult.
Elsewhere in France, 32 departments were placed on orange alert with winds of more than 100 kilometres forecast in some areas.
In the northern Pas-de-Calais and Nord regions, some 20,000 homes were without electricity due to gale-force winds, power provider Enedis said.
Heavy rain also led to the closure of two airports on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, including the one serving the capital Ajaccio.
Heavy winds lashed northern Portugal. A 45-year-old woman died when a tree landed on her car near the city of Porto, Luis Belo Costa from the national civil protection agency said.
The weather service forecast winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour in the area until Monday morning.