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Airlines attempt to clear backlog as flights resume

Long waits expected in Middle East despite the expected 14,000 services over Europe being given clearance to fly.

April 20, 2010 6:03 by

Stranded passengers still face severe travel delays, despite the lifting of restrictions following five days of a blanket no-fly zone in Europe caused by the spread of volcanic ash from Iceland.

Some 14,000 of Europe’s 27,500 daily flights are expected to fly on Tuesday, according Brussels-based Eurocontrol.

Planes have been departing from Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt and other airports, although many services remain grounded. Most of UK airspace remains closed due to a new ash cloud spreading from Iceland. The UK’s air traffic control authority, Nats, said on Tuesday afternoon that much of Britain would remain a no-fly zone until at least 1am local time on Wednesday.

It could be two weeks before the backlog of passengers is cleared, according to some reports.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways said that some services remained cancelled on Wednesday morning, including flights EY15 and EY16 (between Abu Dhabi and Manchester), EY11 and EY12 (between Abu Dhabi and London) and EY45 (Abu Dhabi-Dublin).

Dubai’s Emirates said that “some routes within Europe have now reopened after five days of disruption. However, UK Air Traffic Control has warned that a new ash cloud spreading from Iceland may mean that the UK’s air space remains closed for the time being.”

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