A spokeswoman for Shannon Airport said: “Due to full flight cancellations by our scheduled carriers, and in light of the Red weather alert for the area, Shannon Airport has decided to close the airport from 18:00 this evening. The airport will reopen, weather permitting, at 05:00 am on Saturday 3rd March.

“Shannon Airport remains fully operational as of now, with a number of scheduled flights taking off, due to the efforts of airport staff working through the night in challenging conditions to keep the runway operational. However, a number of airlines, including Aer Lingus and Ryanair, have now made the decision to cancel services in the interest of safety.

“We strongly advise passengers intending to fly from, or travel to, Shannon Airport on Saturday to contact their relevant airline or check their website before travelling.

“We will post regular flight updates on our twitter account @shannonairport, our facebook page and on our website as soon as we are notified.  People are also welcome to contact our information desk at 061 712000 for any updates before making their journey to the airport.”

Shannon Airport handled 20 flight diversions from Dublin and Cork Airports starting from 04.20 yesterday morning until midnight last night. This morning the airport also handled a United Airlines flight diversion (UA2740) this morning from Brussels due to land in Dublin which landed safely at 10.16am.