2,000 passengers stranded at Hokkaido airport due to heavy snow

Passengers rest after flight operations were suspended, due to by heavy snowfall, at New Chitose Airport in Chitose, Hokkaido, northern Japan, on Jan 5, 2019.
Passengers rest after flight operations were suspended, due to by heavy snowfall, at New Chitose Airport in Chitose, Hokkaido, northern Japan, on Jan 5, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (XINHUA) - About 2,000 travellers were stranded overnight at a key airport through Sunday (Jan 6) in Hokkaido, northern Japan, as heavy snow caused flight cancellations, local media reported.

Flights were cancelled last Saturday night, as two runways at the New Chitose Airport were closed because of heavy snow.

As 105 flights were cancelled last Saturday, check-in counters at the airport got swamped with people trying to book new flights to take them home.

Airport staff handed out sleeping bags and blankets to the travellers whose flights were cancelled.

Most flights through Monday are fully booked so the stranded passengers might not be able to book new tickets until Tuesday, according to airline officials.

Hokkaido is a popular winter destination among both overseas and domestic travellers.


Heavy snowfall is seen at New Chitose Airport in Chitose, Hokkaido, northern Japan, on Jan 5, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS