Fear breaks out in Switzerland after airport shutdown

Written by By Maria Jundel, CNN Zurich, Switzerland

A breakdown in talks between the government and around 500 workers at airports, airports for sea transport and train stations around Switzerland, sparked panic when the country’s crisis task force activated its nationwide preventive measures on Tuesday.

The measures — which include compulsory rescheduling of all commercial flights, halt of public transport, suspension of tourist accommodations and suspension of tours — are aimed at limiting the disruption of tourist services in the Alpine country, in particular in the Lake Geneva region.

The 7/7 train network will be suspended throughout the Switzerland. Credit: Courtesy Mandarin Travel

Thousands of flights, including many international, were delayed or canceled, airport authorities in Switzerland said, while several beach-bound cruise lines halted their schedules.

The situation is expected to improve by Wednesday, the Swiss government said in a statement, when it plans to restore some trains, including the S60, a major rail line that stretches from Geneva to Zurich.

During peak times at main airports, such as Geneva and Zurich, few flights are being canceled and many incoming and outgoing ones are delayed. Airports report that today is a normal day for the airport, which experienced more than 20,000 stranded passengers on Tuesday.

Some international flights are expected to be canceled at Zurich’s main airport on Wednesday, airport officials said. Credit: MICHAEL Probst/AP

All train stations have stopped operating with apologies to passengers. Credit: Firefighters of Fribourg express via GOB-PRIS

The Federal Council stressed that while the talks “should have not taken place in these dramatic conditions, in hindsight it was clear that it was a panic action that created unnecessary fear. We deeply regret that this was carried out.”

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