Delays and cancellations at Berlin’s airports

09.12.10 13:50
One in three flights cancelled / Many flights delayed / Lack of de-icing chemicals due to supplier bottlenecks
The severe weather conditions and heavy snowfall have caused disruption to air traffic in Germany and throughout Europe. Passengers using Berlin’s airports have been warned that they will have to expect delays and cancellations from Wednesday evening on until further notice.

The exceptionally dense air traffic network over Europe also means that flight delays and cancellations at individual airports can spread to other airports and affect services there.

“We sincerely regret any disruption to our passengers’ travel plans”, says Ralf Kunkel, Press Officer of Berlin Airports. “We are working flat out with all available manpower to clear the snow and keep the runways clear of ice. Our staff are working around the clock, and this has enabled us to keep both of Berlin’s airports open. Our runways and the aprons have been clear of snow and ready for use at all times.”

As things stand at present (Thursday, 9 December, 2pm) around 200 flights are expected to be cancelled at Berlin’s airports today, many as a result of the closure of other airports due to adverse weather conditions. This is roughly around one third of the scheduled flights.

Bottleneck in the supply of de-icing chemicals

A problem that is affecting traffic throughout Europe is the supply bottleneck for chemicals to de-ice the aircraft. A number of manufacturers are unable to supply sufficient quantities of de-icing fluid to the airports. During the course of the day Globeground Berlin (GGB), the service company responsible for de-icing aircraft at Berlin’s airports on behalf of the airlines, was forced to reduce the number of aircraft their staff de-iced, while the lack of de-icing fluid brought de-icing to a temporary halt in Schoenefeld. One of the main suppliers to German airports, Clariant, issued a statement to the press today concerning the delivery bottlenecks.

“This is a unique situation in the history of Berlin Airports”, says Kunkel, “and it is very exasperating”. The bottlenecks have resulted in queues of aircraft at the de-icing zones. The number of landings also had to be reduced as a result of this backlog.

Advice for passengers

Berlin Airports apologises for any inconvenience caused to passengers because of flight delays. “After affecting rail and road traffic and other airports in Germany, the winter has also hit us hard, too”, says Kunkel. He advises passengers to contact their airline or tour operator well in advance of embarking on their journey to enquire whether their flight will be affected by the weather conditions.

Technical problems on the website

Due to the exceptional volume of traffic to the website www.berlin-airport.de many users experienced access problems, with the information not being served in the usual form or as swiftly as usual due to the servers being overloaded. Berlin Airports is aware of these issues and is doing everything in its power to ensure that they are resolved as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Hannes Stefan Hönemann

Hannes Stefan Hönemann Head of Corporate

+49 30 6091-70100

Daniel Tolksdorf

Daniel Tolksdorf Spokesperson

+49 30 6091-70100

Kathrin Westhölter

Kathrin Westhölter Spokesperson

+49 30 6091-70100