Heavy Snowfall Paralyzes Munich Airport, Disrupts Travel Across Central Europe

by Chloe Baker
Munich snowstorm disruption

Munich Airport came to a complete standstill on Saturday due to heavy snowfall blanketing southern Germany, along with parts of Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. This severe weather condition led to widespread travel disruptions throughout the region.

Initially, Munich Airport suspended all flights until Saturday noon, but extended the suspension until Sunday morning at 6 a.m. Similar disruptions due to the weather were reported at other airports, including Zurich’s, which is a major hub in Switzerland.

Germany’s national railway announced a stoppage of trains arriving and departing from Munich Central Station, urging travelers to postpone or alter their travel plans. According to dpa, the news agency, some travelers in Munich and nearby Ulm were stranded overnight on trains.

Local transport in Munich, including buses and trams, ceased operations by Saturday afternoon, as per the local transit authority. The subway and some regional train services were also hampered by the storm.

Bayernwerk, a utility company, reported to dpa that a considerable number of Bavarian residents were left without electricity due to fallen trees.

The German Bundesliga also had to cancel a soccer match scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Munich between Bayern Munich and Union Berlin.

In Lower Bavaria, northwest of Munich, police reported dealing with 350 snow and ice-related incidents from Friday night into early Saturday, resulting in several minor to moderate injuries.

In Austria and Switzerland, the heavy snowfall heightened avalanche risks. Western Austrian provinces like Tyrol and Vorarlberg increased their avalanche warnings to near-critical levels after receiving up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) of snow.

The Austrian railway company, OeBB, announced the closure of several routes nationwide on Saturday afternoon due to the storm’s impact.

The Czech Republic experienced significant disruptions, with its major highways blocked, delays and cancellations in train and public transport services, and power outages affecting over 15,000 households.

A critical incident on the D1 highway, connecting Prague and Brno, caused extensive traffic jams, including a 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) truck queue. Other highways, including the D5 connecting Prague to Germany, also faced severe traffic issues.

Many high-speed and regional trains in the south of the country were halted, especially those connecting with Austria and Germany. Several roads were expected to remain shut for the entire day.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Munich snowstorm disruption

What caused the shutdown of Munich Airport on Saturday?

A heavy snowstorm across southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic led to the complete standstill of Munich Airport on Saturday, grounding all flights and causing widespread travel disruptions.

Were other modes of transportation affected by the snowstorm in Munich?

Yes, in addition to the airport closure, trains to and from Munich’s central station were halted, and local buses and trams ceased operations. Some subway and regional train lines were also affected by the weather.

Did the snowstorm impact the power supply in the region?

Yes, the storm caused downed trees, leaving many thousands of people without power across the state of Bavaria, as reported by the utility company Bayernwerk.

Was there any disruption in sports events due to the weather?

Yes, the snowstorm led to the cancellation of a Bundesliga soccer match scheduled in Munich between Bayern Munich and Union Berlin on Saturday afternoon.

How did the snowstorm affect road travel in the region?

Police in Lower Bavaria reported 350 incidents related to snow and ice. Major highways in the Czech Republic, including the D1 highway, were blocked, causing significant traffic jams and standstills.

More about Munich snowstorm disruption

  • Munich Airport Snowstorm Disruption
  • Southern Germany Travel Chaos
  • European Winter Weather Impact
  • Bavarian Power Outages
  • Bundesliga Match Cancellation
  • Czech Republic Highway Blockades

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Mike47 December 2, 2023 - 5:21 pm

wow, can’t believe how much chaos a bit of snow can cause, airports, trains, even football games! nature really does what it wants, doesn’t it?

AnnaK December 2, 2023 - 10:56 pm

Driving must’ve been a nightmare, those poor people stuck on the D1, hope everyone’s ok

TravelBug85 December 3, 2023 - 2:17 am

planned to fly out of Munich this weekend, had to reschedule everything, such a mess but safety first right

SarahJ December 3, 2023 - 3:10 am

So many people without power, that’s terrible, hope they get help fast, especially with the cold.

EcoWarrior December 3, 2023 - 7:08 am

extreme weather events seem more common now, is this climate change in action? we should all be concerned.

SportsFanatic December 3, 2023 - 2:49 pm

No game on Saturday? really wanted to see Bayern play, guess we cant control the weather huh


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