This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 15 °C Sunday 26 May, 2019
Advertisement

Flights cancelled as Europe freezes transport links with Brussels

Airlines across Europe, including Aer Lingus and Ryanair, have cancelled flights.

AER LINGUS AND Ryanair have cancelled flights bound for Brussels in the wake of the attacks at the airport and at a city Metro station this morning.

The Belgian capital is on lockdown following the blasts, in which scores of people are feared to have died and travel links have been frozen with the city.

The Brussels-Zaventem international airport has closed until 6am (5am Irish time) tomorrow.

Hundreds of European and international flights scheduled to arrive and depart from the airport have been cancelled.

An Aer Lingus flight to Brussels this morning diverted to Amsterdam, and a Ryanair one to Liege. Many Irish passengers had business planned at the European institutions.

“Sinn Féin were hosting around 120 visitors from Ireland to the parliament today who were travelling on route when the first explosions took place,” Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy said earlier.

“They have been diverted and are all safe.”

Lockdown 

The highest level of security alert has been imposed in the city, which hosts the headquarters of Nato as well as the EU.

As passengers fled the smoking airport and the bomb-hit Maalbeek Metro station, the public authorities shut down the airport, metro system, buses, trams and major railway stations.

“Our whole network is closed at the moment,” the Brussels public transport operator STIB warned people on Twitter, confirming the shutdown of metro, bus and tram systems.

Belgium’s crisis centre urged people not to move. “No public transport. Stay where you are, also in schools, companies,” it said on Twitter.

Knock-on effects 

The effects of the Brussels airport and train station closures rippled across Europe this morning and into the afternoon.

Major stations in Paris remained open but police numbers patrolling in the city’s Gare du Nord, from where Eurostar operates trains to London and Brussels, were increased.

Eurostar said all trains to and from Brussels had been halted.

“Following the incident in Brussels today we can confirm that Eurostar services are currently suspended on the Brussels route,” the company said.

London Gatwick, Frankfurt and Moscow airports raised security, too.

Brussels Airport explosions Armed police close to the Eurostar terminal in St Pancras International station, London today. Source: Anthony Devlin

In a statement, justice minister Frances Fitzgerald said gardaí were liaising with relevant authorities in Brussels and other international partners in light of the attacks.

“While it remains the case that there is no specific information about a threat to this country, as a country with the same values as our European partners, we are not immune.

That threat level is, of course, kept under review and will continue to be particularly in the light of today’s terrible events.

With reporting from AFP. 

Read: Shelter and lifts offered to those stranded in Brussels

Liveblog: Updates on today’s attacks

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Read next:

COMMENTS (63)