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Transport agency at the ready as snow rolls in

TT/The Local/pvs · 22 Dec 2010, 08:45

Published: 22 Dec 2010 08:45 GMT+01:00

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After a very cold night across the country, down to lows of -36 degrees Celsius in Idre in central Sweden, a new weather front carrying snow is on its way into northern Götaland and Hälsingland.

Swedish meteorological agency, SMHI, has issued a class 1 warning (of three on an ascending scale) for about a decimetre of snow in Hälsingland during the morning and around noon.

Air traffic to and from London is however set to resume to near-normal levels on Wednesday.

"As it stands right now, we have cancelled a London flight from Stockholm in the afternoon and from Gothenburg, we have cancelled a return flight to London. We sincerely hope that we will be able to operate the rest," said SAS CIO Elisabeth Manzi.

The situation in London remains chaotic however with SAS alone having around 6000 Swedes stranded there.

The airline is planning to switch to larger aircraft in order to get as many home in time for the holidays as possible.

"But it's hard to sit and promise something, it becomes such a delicate situation when so many are affected. But now we are crossing our fingers because we really need to ease the pressure," said Elisabeth Manzi.

"Of course, our goal is that everyone will get to celebrate Christmas at home. We are doing everything we can to get everyone home."

SAS has called in extra staff to answer questions and take care of the re-booking for all those affected, but waiting times have been very long.

"We hope for understanding, but they (the passengers) have needed to equip themselves with a great deal of patience."

In Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt the airlines have managed to service the stranded passengers, as traffic has largely been maintained, albeit with delays and cancellations.

in Sweden, the Transport Administration has put in extra resources to avoid a repeat of yesterday's snow-related problems. The ambition is to keep long-distance trains rolling.

Story continues below…

"What we now have is the aftermath of yesterday's major problems with the switches," said Tommy Andersson at national rail operator SJ's press office.

"Some trains have ended up in the wrong place in the tumult, one can say."

Some 20 trains in the Mälardalen region around Stockholm will be replaced by coaches and some passengers have been rescheduled to other departures.

"Otherwise it is all rolling on, generally it looks good," Andersson said.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:56 December 22, 2010 by UScitizen
I can't believe this. I came here from East Tennessee. Last week they had three inches of snow back there and schools and courthouses were closed. They weren't prepared because it happens so seldom. But here..... This is northern Europe and it's winter. HELLO!!!!! It happens every year! Five inches of snow shut down Heathrow? Unbelieable.
10:10 December 22, 2010 by Tennessee Thunder
Believe it Citizen,I,ve been here 11 years now and It,s gotten worse every year.,Sweden Is just as bad with the rail service and Bus service,not to mention SAS and that crap airline leaving all those people stranded and not giving them a place to stay.
10:39 December 22, 2010 by Nemesis
Heathrow is a mess yes. It has always been and always will be a mess, until they hire a bunch of Germans to run it effectively and efficiently.

20 years ago, Sweden was able to deal with this.

Now even in Skåne they have problems.

Sweden has adopted a tendancy to blame non swedes for there problems in news releases, such as the transport people trying to shift blame to Heathrow when in fact a lot of Swedish transport is chaos at present. The same applies to international law in which they are trying to blame the English for the actions of a hate consumed Swedish prosecutor.

Swedes need to sit down and look at what has gone wrong.

Sweden has adopted short term ideas in a lot of areas, such as buying trains from Spain instead of making weather proof trains in Sweden for Swedish weather. There signals are imported using standards that 20 years ago would have been classed as substandard in Swden, which is why they are frozen.

Sweden needs to roll back the mistakes it has made.
13:18 December 22, 2010 by Roy E
They remind me of a herd of livestock standing there on that platform.
14:18 December 22, 2010 by flintis
@nemesis:- Germans effective & efficient?? you've been reading too many fairy tales.

I came to work for a German subsidery to a French multi -national & they couldn't organise the proverbial in a brewery. Don't even mention quality, must be the immigrants in Germany that build Mercs, BMW & Audi

@uscitizen, think you've got Heathrow at the wrong latitude, not very often England gets snow & last yr Heathrow was the only airport in Europe that didn't close because of bad weather.
18:37 December 22, 2010 by JulieLou40
@ flintis...Er, I think you mean "major" airport. I know of plenty in Europe which didn't close last year.
20:32 December 22, 2010 by Alohart
@Tennessee Thunder

Why should the airlines be held responsible for problems caused by extreme weather or airport incompetence? If an airline causes problems because of its incompetence or repairs to its equipment, then it should be responsible.

If you expect airlines to pay for problems they don't cause, then don't complain when airline ticket prices rise.
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