Tens of thousands of passengers book to fly to, from and through Amsterdam Airport on Tuesday have had their flights cancelled because of winds of 30mph from the northwest, which means most of the airport’s six runways cannot be used.
The hub airline, KLM, has cancelled more than 250 flights and warned travellers on other departures to expect disruption. Together with other carriers, nearly 300 flights are currently shown as grounded.
UK flights are worst hit, with at least 70 arrivals and departures cancelled – the vast majority on the Dutch airline.
KLM has grounded a dozen flights to and from each of Heathrow and London City airports, as well as multiple departures serving Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Durham Tees Valley and Leeds Bradford. Single round trips between Amsterdam and Edinburgh, Glasgow, Humberside, Newcastle and Norwich are also affected.
Among KLM flights that are operating, morning services from Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Durham Tees Valley, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle are all over two hours behind schedule.
British Airways and its sister airline, Vueling, have cancelled some flights between Amsterdam and the UK, affecting London City and Luton respectively.
Some easyJet flights to and from Amsterdam are delayed by three hours or more.
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More than 200 Continental flights have been cancelled by KLM. Paris – to which there are rail alternatives – is worst affected.
Berlin, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Geneva, Madrid, Munich, Oslo and Stockholm have all had three round-trips cancelled. The most distant destinations to see cancellations are Moscow and Istanbul.
Cancellations of Wednesday's flights have begun, with morning round-trips connecting Amsterdam with Cardiff, Durham Tees Valley and Leeds Bradford for 9 January already grounded.
Fourteen other KLM flights to and from destinations including Florence, Venice and Prague have been cancelled.
KLM is offering anyone booked to travel via Amsterdam on Tuesday or Wednesday the chance to rebook free of charge for a later date. The offer also applies to its parent airline, Air France, and its partner, Delta Airlines.
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“We are doing our very best to help you on your way again,” said the airline.
Because the cause of the disruption is poor weather, passengers are not entitled to cash compensation for cancellations and delays.
But there is a strict duty of care for airlines to provide passengers with meals and accommodation as necessary until they can be flown to their destinations.
The Eurostar rail connection from London St Pancras to Amsterdam is running normally, with seats on the evening departure available at £179 one way.