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European airports begin to reopen

Limited air travel resumed late Monday, UK airspace remains closed, amid concerns over emergence of new ash cloud

April 20, 2010 10:19 by

British air traffic control officials announced late Monday that Iceland’s volcano had released a new cloud of ash that is headed towards the UK, the Khaleej Times reported Tuesday.

Lingering volcanic dust resulted in cancellation of an additional 20,000 flights Monday, as some European governments sent ships and “took other measures to rescue stranded passengers,” the report added.

European governments are beginning to open airspaces to flight resumption on Tuesday, amid “relentless pressure from airlines who have lost more than a billion dollars from the crisis so far.”

Europe’s air traffic control body, Eurocontrol, predicted that flights could be running by Thursday, with the following developments noted for Tuesday morning, according to the Khaleej Times: limited flights from Paris beginning early Tuesday, flights over Germany banned until 1200 GMT Tuesday, with Lufthansa long-haul flights to resume Monday, KLM flew passenger flights to shanghai, Dubai, and New York on Monday, and flights from New York’s JFK to Europe started running late Monday.

London airports are less likely to reopen today, however, given the emergence of a new ash cloud. Airspace over Scotland may open today, as scheduled, according to the National Air Traffic Services, NATS, the report indicated.

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