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Airports operate normally as ash clears over Europe

By Editor   |   11 May 2010   |   12:44 pm  
FLIGHTS across Europe yesterday operated normally after a plume of volcanic ash that disrupted air traffic and forced some airports to close over the weekend dispersed.

But there were delays on trans-Atlantic flights because another band in mid-ocean blocked the air routes between Europe and North America.

“While most of these flights are operating, many are having to make significant re-routings to avoid the area of ash cloud coverage, resulting in delays,” according to a statement from the agency.

Air traffic charts showed that airliners on both the westward and eastward tracks across the Atlantic were being diverted far to the north, over Greenland, to avoid the danger zone around the Icelandic volcano whose eruptions forced a five-day suspension of air traffic in Europe last month.

The resulting travel chaos saw the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights – stranding passengers around the world and causing airlines direct losses of more than euro1 billion ($1.3 billion).

The Association of European Airlines said the losses caused by this weekend’s disruptions, which affected less than two per cent of scheduled flights, were likely to be negligible.



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