Economists fear that the recent spate of bad weather could have resounding effects for the city of Liverpool, after both fog and heavy snows brought John Lennon Airport to a standstill. On Tuesday morning alone, Ryanair cancelled 12 flights out of the northwest.
Liverpool’s problems began in the days leading up to Christmas, when a snowstorm affected two scheduled flights, and left hundreds of passengers stranded in the terminals. One traveller noted kids crying – “the mood was one of sheer exasperation.”
On the 29th December, a thick fog bank descended on the airport, reducing visibility to just a few hundred metres. Ten flights were cancelled. A further seven were redirected to East Midlands and Robin Hood, where the skies were clear and the runways fog-free.
Liverpool was not out of the woods yet, though. The 5th January brought more snow than the city could handle, and everything from ferry services to local factories, high street stores and bridges were suspended or closed.
Forty percent of Merseyside’s workforce stayed at home, bringing the city to a frosty halt. Experts predict that as much as £50m could have been sucked out of the economy by Tuesday’s closures.
The runway at Liverpool was shut down twice, while specialist teams got rid of the ice and snow. The only major airports that managed to escape the weather unscathed were East Midlands and Humberside, which are operating as normal.
Even the transfer of Liverpool F.C. player, Andrea Dossena, was foxed by the snowfall, as neither Manchester nor John Lennon airports could provide him with a flight out of the country.