PASSENGERS at a major European airport were left stuck on planes yesterday as floods forced airlines to cancel dozens of flights.

Heavy rain in parts of Germany caused flooding that led to the cancellations at Frankfurt Airport, the country's busiest, authorities said this morning.

The airport said large quantities of water accumulated on the tarmac on Wednesday evening and ground handling was suspended for more than two hours, German news agency dpa reported.

The airport website showed about 70 flights were cancelled by 11pm, when flying is ordinarily halted for the night, while 23 flights headed for Frankfurt were diverted to other airports.

A video shared widely on social media showed the extent of the flooding, with planes parked in huge pools of water, while lightning flashes overhead.

This flooding left some passengers unable to get off aircraft that had landed at the airport.

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Other videos showed long lines of passengers in the terminal as they waited to hear what was happening to their flight.

The airport estimated more than 1,000 passengers were affected in total.

The cancellations continued into this morning as well as last night.

At least 18 flights set to leave the airport this morning were halted, while 20 Lufthansa arrivals were also cancelled, according to the airport’s website.

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Downpours in parts of southwestern and central Germany led to flooded basements and streets.

In Gelsenkirchen, in the western Ruhr district, the fire service said people were rescued from their cars where several highway underpasses were underwater.

The flood is not the only weather-related issue causing problems for European airports this summer.

Catania in Sicily, had to halt all flights after a new eruption at nearby Mount Etna on Monday.

"Because of an eruption at Etna… all departures and arrivals are cancelled until 1:00 pm [1100 GMT]," the airport posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

EasyJet was among airlines that were affected by the eruption.

They apologised to their passengers, saying: “We’re sorry that your flight has been delayed. This is because volcanic activity in Catania is causing restrictions to the areas in which aircraft are permitted to fly.

“The safety of you and our crew is our highest priority and we thank you for your patience.”

It is not the first time this summer that Catania has had to close its airport either.

A fire at the transport hub last month forced several airlines to scrap or divert flights for several days.

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Meanwhile passengers make this big mistake when their plane is delayed or cancelled.

And here's how to get refunds if your flight is grounded.

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