Freezing weather hit Europe’s airports and high speed train services and saw major events postponed, including music shows and sporting events.
In Paris, a Lady Gaga concert was cancelled because trucks delivering sets for the event could not get to the city’s Bercy stadium. The show was expected to be rescheduled for tomorrow.
About 40% of flights were cancelled at Frankfurt airport and at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle.
Passengers slept in makeshift dormitories at the Paris airport and at Amsterdam’s Schiphol
Airports and tour operators acknowledged there would likely be some disruption to flights through next week, with many aircraft currently stuck in the wrong location.
France is also having one of its snowiest winters in years. Many TGV fast trains were running slower than usual, tacking about 20 minutes on to each journey. Eurostar trains to Britain and Thalys trains to Belgium and the Netherlands were also affected.
French weather service Meteo France said it forecasts more snow for the Paris region for today and a risk of snow and ice in Paris on St Stephen's Day – another major travel day.
Lady Gaga’s cancelled concert in Paris had already been rescheduled – it was originally postponed in October during massive strikes in France.
The pop star said staging and sound equipment was stuck aboard heavy trucks ordered off the city’s roads during the icy weather. “I am furious and devastated, it’s unfair to my fans and to me,” she wrote on her Twitter site.
In Italy, Florence’s airport was closed yesterday amid snow and ice storms that blanketed Tuscany.
At Frankfurt airport, Germany’s biggest, more than 500 flights were cancelled yesterday out of a planned total of 1,330 departures and arrivals.
Temperatures dipped to below -20C in some parts of Scandinavia, where meteorologists warned snow was piling up on the icy roads following heavy snowfall and strong winds. Airports were operating normally, but several long-distance trains were delayed.
Soccer games in France and the Netherlands were called off as a result of the conditions.