Thousands of passengers stranded due to IT meltdown at Lufthansa.

On Wednesday, thousands of passengers were stranded and flights to Germany’s busiest airport were cancelled or diverted due to an IT failure at Lufthansa. The airline blamed the botched railway engineering works that damaged broadband cables.

200 plus flights were cancelled in Frankfurt, which is an international transit hub and among Europe’s biggest airports, a Fraport spokesperson said.

All its IT systems were up and running again and Lufthansa expects the flights to return to normal on Thursday, Lufthansa said.

Data from FlightAware showed scores of flights being delayed. Thousands of passengers could be seen waiting to be checked in, in photos and videos from several German airports.

“We wanted to go to the wizard convention in England, in Blackpool. And now we are stranded here,” Alexander Straub said at Frankfurt airport. “We have eaten some pretzels and are still waiting,” said his fellow passenger, Marc Weidel.

The problem was blamed on third-party engineering works on a railway line extension, that happened on Tuesday evening, by Lufthansa and Germany’s national train operator. A Deutsche Telekom fibre optic cable bundle was cut by a drill operating on the railway line extension.

The mess-up caused passenger check-in and boarding systems at Lufthansa to seize up on Wednesday morning and prompted German air traffic control to suspend incoming flights, though these have since resumed.

As an aftermath, cancellations were also reported by other airports.  Paris Charles de Gaulle airport said two flights had been axed and a further two flights had to turn back around. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport reported one cancellation of a flight headed to Frankfurt.

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