High winds force cancellation of 75 KLM flights

2017-09-13 14:16
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The Hague, Netherlands — Dutch carrier KLM has cancelled 60 flights to and from European destinations as heavy winds buffeting Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport reduced the number of runways that could be used.

Airport spokesman Paul Weber says 75 flights in total were cancelled on Wednesday, 13 September, due to "restricted runway capacity". Weber says the busy airport is expected to experience delays throughout the day.

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The Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute has issued a warning for western coastal regions of the Netherlands of wind gusting up to 120 kilometers per hour.

Traffic authorities say a tree blown over by the wind also blocked a busy highway between Rotterdam and The Hague during the morning commuter rush hour. There were no reports of casualties caused by the storm.

More flights cancelled in Germany

Meanwhile in Germany, bankrupt Air Berlin was forced to cancel more than 100 flights on Tuesday, 12 September, causing chaos at several German airports, after 200 pilots called in sick at short notice.

At least 32 flights were canceled on Wednesday, though Air Berlin says more pilots were returning to work.

Germany's transport minister Alexander Dobrindt is appealing to pilots to abandon an apparent wildcat strike that has caused two days of disruption, saying the pilots' action was counterproductive as the airline seeks a buyer. "I can only appeal to everyone to show sense and let flights take place."

Germany's second-biggest airline declared bankruptcy in August following years of losses and the decision of its biggest shareholder, Gulf airline Etihad, to cease financing. Bids for Air Berlin must be submitted by Friday.

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