(Bloomberg) -- Heavy snowfall disrupted travel in southern Germany and Switzerland, with hundreds of flights delayed or canceled so far.
Munich, Germany’s second busiest airport, took the main hit. It was forced to close at around 10:35 p.m. on Friday night and isn’t expected to reopen until Sunday. Some 760 flights were scheduled for Saturday.
That shutdown had knock-on affects for Frankfurt airport, Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s top hub, which is “experiencing an increase in aircraft and passenger traffic,” according to a statement.
In Switzerland, at 22 departures and 21 arrivals were canceled at Zurich Airport because of continuing snowfall. Additionally, de-icing procedures added some 20 to 40 minutes to take-offs, delaying departures.
Innsbruck airport, in western Austria, also said that heavy snowfall led to “significantly restricted” flight operations.
With the German Meteorological Office warning of “severe weather” in the state of Bavaria, Munich rail routes to cities including Salzburg and Innsbruck in Austria, Zurich, and Nuremberg and Stuttgart in Germany were also affected.
“We assume that the restrictions will continue throughout Dec. 2,” Deutsche Bahn said in a statement. “We recommend postponing travel to and from Munich.”
The snow also halted a scheduled football match on Saturday between FC Bayern Munich and 1. FC Union Berlin in Germany’s top division.
“The stadium owner has closed the Allianz Arena due to the heavy and persistent snowfall and the associated safety risks,” said Germany’s football association DFL. “A new date will be announced shortly.”
Central Europe isn’t alone in facing transport chaos due to snow. Travel warnings are multiplying across the UK this weekend, with rail strikes and planned works exacerbating the situation.
(Updates with Frankfurt starting in third paragraph)
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.