Half of flights canceled at Paris Roissy airport
French aviation authorities have canceled half of the flights into and out of Paris Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport until 1:00 pm (1200 GMT) on Friday because of freezing winter conditions.world Updated: Dec 24, 2010 10:26 IST
French aviation authorities have canceled half of the flights into and out of Paris Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport until 1:00 pm (1200 GMT) on Friday because of freezing winter conditions.
The latest announcement meant that some 2,000 passengers would be forced to stay overnight at the airport, transport minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said on early Friday morning.
Forecasters were expecting below-freezing conditions this morning and the airport was having trouble getting hold of enough glycol, the liquid used to de-ice aircraft, aviation officials said in a statement late on Thursday.
Civil aviation officials had therefore asked all airlines to reduce their flights by 50%, the statement added.
Aeroports de Paris (ADP), the company running the capital's airports, announced on Thursday that airlines had already been asked to cut flights by 20% delaying 60 flights out of Roissy.
The de-icing process had been taking 25 minutes instead of the usual 14, because of the conditions, said ADP.
Charles de Gaulle airport had only just cleared the backlog from the delays caused earlier in the week by the freezing conditions, which on Monday saw 3,000 passengers forced to spend a second night sleeping there.
Kosciusko-Morizet and junior transport minister Thierry Mariani visited the airport on late Thursday to see the situation for themselves, their offices said.
Officials were setting up camp-beds for the passengers, Kosciusko-Morizet said.
The delays earlier this week led to angry exchanges and scuffles with police as frustrated passengers complained not just about the delays but the lack of information from the airlines.