France - Europe

EU raps airports over snow delays

Reuters/Vincent Kessler

The European Commission has dubbed the transport chaos caused by the recent cold snap “unacceptable” and transport commissioner Siim Kallas is to summon airport chiefs to explain themselves.


Kallas said Tuesday that he was “extremely concerned” by the disruption caused by the last few days’ heavy snow.

Reuters/Alex Domanski

Traffic was returning to normal at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports Tuesday morning after air traffic authorities allowed them to remain open around the clock.

About 3,000 people spent Monday night at Charles de Gaulle using the 300 beds and 2,500 blankets taken there security personnel. Another 4,000 were put up in hotels.

Delays are still expected at French airports and, as weather disruption draws to a close, about 60 employees of a security company at Marseille have launched an indefinite strike over salaries and employment policies.

The latest winter weather and an earlier cold snap two weeks ago will cost Air France-KLM 25-35 million euros, the company estimates.

Forecaster Météo France ended its weather alert in several northern regions and much of Monday's snow had melted on Tuesday morning. But the snow is expected to return Thursday or Wednesday.

Some French people may have to wait for their Christmas presents this year. The post office says that 80,000 parcels are due to arrive late and some may not arrive until after 25 December in isolated areas.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning