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Thursday 21 June 2018
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ZongoNews Radio

Hamburg Airport reopens after power failure affects ‘over 30,000′ travellers

Air travellers were able to breathe a sigh of relief on Monday when Hamburg Airport reopened after a blackout saw two terminals evacuated on Sunday. But people should expect delays with a dozen flights still cancelled.

Germany’s fifth busiest airport reopened at 6am on Monday after a power outage on Sunday morning caused by a short circuit saw the airport plunge into darkness.

Shortly after 6:30 am a Pegasus flight from Antalya landed at the airport in the Hanseatic city on Monday.

The power outage brought air traffic to a halt at the airport, forcing hundreds of travellers to evacuate the two terminals. Experts were then working at full speed to find out the cause of the short circuit in the airport’s main power supply and to resolve the issue.

“Now we will follow up and work hard to find out what they cause was,” said an airport spokeswoman on Monday morning. The airport did not initially give an explanation as to why the blackout was so severe.

Some travellers will still have to deal with delays, with 23 (out of 214) departing flights and 10 (out of 214) arriving flights cancelled on Monday.

“Air traffic is all jumbled up now,” said a spokeswoman. “That’s why the planes aren’t here, and that’s why they can’t start.”

Hamburg announced via Twitter on Sunday that it was forced to shut down the airport due to the outage.

Travellers were told not to come to the airport and to contact their airline for the status of their flight.

Thousands of passengers were waiting in front of the airport for hours, partly in hope of still being able to take off. According to the airport, it’s probable that over 30,000 passengers were affected by the flight cancellations.

Planes en route to Hamburg were diverted to nearby airports, such as Hanover in Lower Saxony, 150 kilometres to the south.

After the air hub announced that no more flights would be departing on Sunday in the afternoon, travellers made their way home or stayed in nearby hotels.

The airport and the German Red Cross set up camp beds in one of its terminals, where around 90 people spent the night, according to the airport. “It was really a very quiet situation, and can say that the guests are really very understanding,” said the spokeswoman.

Hamburg airport has 200 incoming and outbound flights on an average Sunday and serves more than 17 million passengers each year.

-AFP