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Lufthansa Hampered by Snow at German, Austrian Airports

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Heavy snowfalls led to hundreds of flight cancellations at Germany’s and Austria’s main airports, curtailing service by carriers including Deutsche Lufthansa AG Europe’s second-biggest airline.

Vienna airport was closed for inbound flights from at least 1:20 p.m., with outbound traffic also hampered, the operator said on its website, where it listed more than 160 flights as scrapped. Munich airport cut about 10 percent of scheduled services and said the proportion may rise to 20 percent by the evening.

“We’ve cleared both of our runways three times already today,” Edgar Engert, a Munich airport spokesman, said by telephone. “We try to keep one in operation at all times, and we are doing a lot of de-icing of planes.”

Fraport AG’s Frankfurt Airport, Europe’s third-busiest by passenger numbers, reported 40 cancellations of flights, primarily to the other two cities, out of a total 1,193 takeoffs and landings scheduled today, according to Jana Schwab, a spokeswoman. Munich airport, Germany’s second-busiest, originally had 971 flights on its timetable.

Lufthansa was the most affected by the disruptions, as Frankfurt and Munich are its main brand’s hubs and Vienna is the base for its Austrian Airlines unit, with cancellations focused on internal German or central and east European routes. Other carriers with flights scrapped in Vienna included British Airways, Turkish Airlines and Moscow-based OAO Aeroflot, according to the airport’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Weiss in Frankfurt at rweiss5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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