Germany's major airports remain closed as volcanic ash spreads

14:16, April 18, 2010      

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Flight restrictions on all German international airports are expected to remain in place for much of Saturday, as a giant cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland was spreading over Europe, air traffic officials said.

German airports would remain closed until 2 p.m. local time on Saturday, and by then officials would determine whether it was safe to fly, officials said. Airline company Lufthansa announced earlier that all its flights were to be grounded until noon Saturday.

The Munich international airport shut down at 8 p.m. last night, the last major German airport remaining open during daytime Friday. Airports of Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, Duesseldorf, Hanover, Bremen, Muenster/Osnabrueck and Cologne/Bonn, have grounded all flights since Thursday night.

Germany's national rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, said it saw an increase in booking as people were looking for alternative ways to reach their destination.

Iceland's erupting Eyjafjallajokull volcano would continue to spew ash and smoke to the sky in the next few days. The ash would float over the European continent and lead to more closure of airports, some officials said in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.

Until now, the cloud of volcanic ash has unprecedentedly affected air traffic in Europe, as many airports in Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Poland, and Norway have been closed indefinitely.

Source: Xinhua


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