Strike and Freezing Temps Leave Thousands Stranded at Paris Airport

VIDEO: Winter storm strands thousands of travelers trying to get home for the holidays.
Share
Copy

Thousands will be spending Christmas Eve at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport outside Paris. Freezing temperatures and a shortage of de-icing fluid brought on by a strike have grounded planes.

Roissy-Charles de Gaulle, the main airport of the French capital, received a supply of de-icing fluid from the United States this morning. Freezing temperatures and a strike at the main French glycol factory aggravated a de-icing fluid shortage. Authorities were forced to cancel half of the flights -- about 400 -- scheduled to leave the airport this morning, according to The Associated Press.

Freezing weather meant more cancellations in the afternoon, and for security reasons, passengers were evacuated from a section of one of the airport's main terminals whose roof was covered in large amounts of snow, The Associated Press reported.

Rescuers from the French Protection Civile set up hundreds of camp beds for stranded passengers to sleep on.

Getting people home is "our goal for tonight," said Air France ground official Michel Emeyriat on the iTele TV channel. He said that priority would go to long-haul flights. "We will do everything so that our planes can take off with everyone."

Air Travel Disrupted Across Europe

"On a day like today, we would normally have had around 25,000 flights across Europe by now," Rena Fakhouri, a spokeswoman for the air safety organization Eurocontrol told The New York Times. "By contrast, we've had about 15,500 so far today."

In Germany, the Frankfurt Airport remains open, but large amounts of snow shut down Duesseldorf Airport for several hours this morning. About 65 flights were canceled, according to The Associated Press. The weather affected Germany's railway system as well. The railway line between Berlin and Hanover was closed Thursday night because of ice covering the overhead electric wires. The line reopened early Friday morning.

Many flights at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam were delayed or canceled.

Ninety-five percent of flights at London's Heathrow Airport are still on schedule, with some airlines even adding extra flights to clear out the airport's stranded passengers.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: The fake baby a man was carrying as he and another woman tried to sneak into the mother and baby unit at Mercy Medical Center in Merced, Calif., hospital officials said.
Dignity Health Security/Mercy Medical Center Merced
PHOTO:
dpa, Jens Wolf/AP Photo
PHOTO: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston stopped a would be smuggler from bringing nearly 7 ounces of cocaine into the country in tamales, Aug. 22, 2014.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
PHOTO: Giant panda Bao Bao celebrates her first birthday at the Smithsonians National Zoo, Aug. 23, 2014.
David Galen, Smithsonians National Zoo