On the first day of the show around 80 stands were left unmanned as widespread travel disruption took its toll at Europe’s biggest construction equipment event.
Many UK visitors crossed the channel by train or ferry, only to endure 12-hour long car journeys to Bauma as the flight ban caused heavy traffic congestion.
Joanna Oliver, director of the Construction Equipment Association, took 21 hours and travelled more than 1,000 miles to get to Bauma.
She said: “It’s very quiet. At the moment there is nobody here from China, India or the USA.”
Irish visitors have mostly been stranded.
One frustrated British visitor told the Enquirer: “I was due to fly out Monday morning and spend a couple of days at the show.
“My original flights were cancelled and when I started looking at the alternatives the cost and hassle was enormous, so I’ve decided to give the show a miss.
She added: “It’s a real shame because things are just starting to pick-up again. But I couldn’t justify the cost to spend virtually two days travelling for a few hours at the show.
“I bet the organisers of SED wish they hadn’t cancelled this year’s event, now so many people haven’t made it to Bauma.”
The vast majority of the 3,000 stands were operating normally. Bauma organisers mobilised a team of their own staff to man empty stands and take enquiries.
On Tuesday morning, Bauma organisers said they were hopeful more overseas visitors would make it today. Munich airport is currently running a limited service.
A Bauma spokeswoman said: “Our first delegation from China is arriving today. And we are confident that services will return to normal for the busy last three days of the show.”