Moscow Domodedovo reopens after weekend shutdown, Sheremetyevo also cancels flights
Russia's Moscow Domodedovo International Airport confirmed (28-Dec-2010) it experienced a complete shutdown of power supply between 26-Dec-2010 and 27-Dec-2010, due to icy rain (Dow Jones, 27-Dec-2010/Associated Press/Reuters/Itar-Tass/RIA Novosti, 28-Dec-2010/RIA Novosti, 29-Dec-2010). The airport stated it was operating in standard mode by 90% by 13:00 on 28-Dec-2010. Its baggage sorting system and check-in operations have now been restored, but the airport stated it took some time to return to normal capacity. Runways have now been cleared of ice and are operated as normal.
- Long-haul flights with high-capacity aircraft suffered most from the shutdown. As of 22:00 on 28-Dec-2010, the airport had handled 460 arriving and departing flights. All airport services are working in intensified regime, all apron equipment is operating; [more] [more]
- Federal Air Navigation Authority (FANA) Director General Alexander Neradko stated on 27-Dec-2010 it would take another two to three days until Domodedovo returned to normal operations. Priority was being given to passengers who had been stranded at the airport since 25-Dec-2010;
- A number of fights had broken out at the airport, with a group of passengers passing passport control at the airport on 27-Dec-2010. Aeroflot claims the airport did not have enough security staff and the airline’s staff has become scared of dealing with affected passengers. Domodedovo denied the reports;
- Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport was also forced to cancel around half of its flights over the weekend due to shortages of de-icing fluid. More than 200 flights have been delayed at Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo between 26-Dec-2010 and 28-Dec-2010;
- Moscow Vnukovo International Airport confirmed (28-Dec-2010) it continues to operate normally and in conformity with its daily flight schedule. UTair services have been temporarily transferred to Moscow Vnukovo, effective 29-Dec-2010 to 31-Dec-2010; [more] [more - UTair]
- Russian Tourism Association stated around 20,000 passengers have suffered flight delays in the city due to the weather;
- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered an investigation into whether Moscow airports have taken “all necessary measures” to follow transport and passenger services regulations. The investigation is in addition to one launched earlier into the causes in the flight delays at Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo;
- Transport Minister Igor Levitin has criticised management of Domodedovo stating it should have closed, rather than keeping passengers at the airport. Mr Levitin stated he also plans to question Aeroflot, which he claimed “failed to foresee the shortage of anti-freeze in emergency situations”. He has also suggested all carriers cancel flights to St Petersburg and offer passengers the option to travel by train in exchange for their tickets.