Snow reveals "weak link" in EU travel chain

13:55, December 22, 2010      

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An aircraft is de-iced on the snow covered tarmac of Zaventem international airport near Brussels December 19, 2010. Heavy snow and freezing temperatures caused travel chaos across northern Europe during the week-end, with about 1,500 passengers being stranded for the night in Brussels due to bad weather conditions. (Xinhua/Reuters)

The severe travel disruption caused by heavy snow reveal a weak link in the European travel chain, European Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas said on Tuesday.

Heavy snowfalls and black ice have wreaked havoc upon air, rail and road links across Europe these last few days, resulting in the canceling of numerous flights and trains in major European cities and leaving thousands of passengers to their fate.

"I am extremely concerned about the level of disruption to travel across Europe caused by severe snow. It is unacceptable and should not happen again," Kallas said.

Major airports in England, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands are still operating very limited services Tuesday due to the snow and freezing weather. Thousands of passengers were even forced to sleep in airports.

The commissioner pointed out the problems relating to airlines infrastructure during this severe snow wave as a "weak link" in the travel chain.

"I intend to convene a meeting with airports representatives in the coming days to ask for further explanations and to take a hard look at what is necessary to make sure they would be able to operate more effectively in the similar situations in the future," the commissioner said.

Source: Xinhua

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