Moscow’s main airport closed after overnight snow


MOSCOW – Moscow’s Domodedovo airport was closed and thousands of Muscovites were left without power on Sunday after a heavy overnight snowfall, the RIA Novosti news agency said.
It quoted an airport spokeswoman as saying flights at the airport, Russia’s busiest, were halted after two electricity substations were knocked out. “The airport service is suspended,” the spokeswoman, Elena Galanova, was quoted as saying, adding that it was not clear when operations would resume.
The Moscow United Electric Grid Company said about 100,000 people in the region were affected by power outages, according to RIA. The temperature in Moscow hovered around zero degrees Celsius on Saturday and early Sunday. Some rail services were also disrupted.
Moscow’s other two main airports, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo, were working normally. Forecasters said snow was expected to continue falling until Tuesday, with temperatures ranging between zero and -6 C.
According to the latest figures available, 2.47 million passengers passed through Domodedovo in July, up 18.4 percent compared with a year earlier.
That compares with 2.12 million at Sheremetyevo, Moscow’s second airport, and 6.72 million at London’s Heathrow, the world’s busiest international airport.
Hundreds of travellers spent an uncomfortable Christmas in airport queues after icy weather grounded and delayed many flights in Europe, with Paris and Brussels airports the worst affected.