By Christian Thiele, Elena Zompi and Christoph Driessen
Hundreds of flights at Frankfurt Airport in Germany have been cancelled on Thursday, a day after a winter storm forced the airport to suspend take-offs and landings for several hours.
Heavy snowfall in Frankfurt and throughout western Germany, meanwhile, left some motorways impassable overnight and led to further transport chaos in parts of the country. Hundreds of motorists spent hours stuck on jammed motorways late on Wednesday and into Thursday morning.
At Frankfurt Airport, more than 300 of about 1,000 scheduled flights for Thursday have been cancelled, a spokeswoman for airport operator Fraport told dpa on Thursday morning.
Flights are taking off and landing at the airport, but air traffic was still recovering from a storm that brought ice, freezing rain and snow to much of western and southern Germany.
It was unclear if additional flights might be cancelled over the course of Thursday. The airport spokeswoman urged passengers to check the status of their flights online before travelling to the airport.
The Frankfurt Airport is Germany’s largest and most important aviation hub, and is among the busiest airports in Europe.
Munich Airport, another major hub that was affected by the winter storm, largely returned to normal operations on Thursday, an airport official told dpa.
Late on Wednesday, lorries became stuck in deep snow near Frankfurt on three of Germany’s busiest motorways, the A3, A4, A5 and A7.
The stuck lorries led to traffic jams that stretched for several kilometres, stranding many motorists. In addition to road maintenance vehicles, the Red Cross was deployed to provide drivers with blankets and hot drinks, according to the police.
Some local schools in parts of Germany particularly hard-hit by the winter storm also remained closed on Thursday or switched to online instruction so children could remain at home.