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Travellers endure major disruptions as storms sweep Europe

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Much of Europe suffered another night of chaos as the Beast from the East and Storm Emma continue to bring freezing conditions

For four nights in a row, travellers have been facing major disruptions on roads, rails and in the air as a Siberian weather system collides with Storm Emma.

Around 50,000 British travellers are believed to be stranded abroad because of hundreds of flight cancellations. The largest number of grounded flights have been at Heathrow, where British Airways have cancelled almost 200 flights so far on Friday

“We are keeping customers informed and offering short-haul customers due to travel up to and including next Tuesday a range of flexible rebooking options, even if their flight is still due to fly as planned,” the carrier said.

“We are sorry that the weather this week is leading to some delays and disruption to our schedules. We continue to do all we can minimise the effect the poor weather may have on our flights. ”

Lufthansa, Air France and United Airlines have cancelled multiple flights, and some inbound services from Singapore, Johannesburg and Dubai have been grounded.

Ireland is braced for the heaviest snowfall in decades that Storm Emma is predicted to bring.

All flights in and out of Dublin airport were suspended on Friday, with service disruptions expected to continue until Saturday at the earliest. The first flight out of Dublin is currently scheduled at 5:15 am on Saturday.

Aer Lingus has cancelled a total of 30 flights between Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Heathrow.

The British Foreign Office warned travellers, saying: “Due to severe weather conditions across the country, the Irish authorities advise that you should remain indoors until 3 pm on Friday 2 March.”

Staff at Edinburgh airport were working through the night to clear the runway so that it could be “open for those airlines that wish to operate tomorrow”.

EasyJet and Ryanair Jet have announced they would not start operations at the Scottish capital until the afternoon. British Airways, Flybe and Jet2 may begin earlier.

The weather system coming from Siberia has been called different names across European countries. While in the UK it is called the Beast from the East, the Swedes have named it a Snow Cannon and the Dutch call it the Siberian Bear.

The airport in the Swiss city of Geneva was forced to shut down on Thursday morning but was reopened after the runway was cleared using snow ploughs.

In France, about 2,000 drivers were stranded on a motorway near the city of Montpellier, with some complaining of being stuck for as long as 24 hours.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport was also hit by freezing winds, with KLM airlines cancelling or delaying dozens of flights.

Snow has even fallen on the normally balmy beaches of the French Riviera.

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