Denmark extends flight ban after Iceland volcanic eruption

14:37, April 18, 2010      

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Denmark Civil Aviation Authority on Saturday extended temporary flight ban as ash cloud from the Iceland volcanic eruption continued to shroud the European continent.

According to Politiken.dk, the website of the Danish daily Politiken, Copenhagen airport was reopened in the early hours of Saturday after a closure following the volcanic eruption in Iceland.

However, as the ash cloud kept moving closer, Danish Civil Aviation Authority decided to extend the temporary flight ban later Saturday.

Danish Meteorological Agency has forecast that volcanic ashes would stay over Denmark until at least Sunday, since there is no indication that the wind situation will change.

The volcanic eruption has forced Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Belgium to close their airspace, and in Europe alone about 17 thousand passengers have canceled their flights. Other countries around the world have also canceled flights destined to Europe.

The International Civil Aviation Organization warned Saturday that the disruption caused by the ash cloud from the volcanic eruption under Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier exceeded that of the airspace shutdown after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

Researchers from Iceland have also said that although the visibility over the crater has improved, the ash cloud may continue to spread and it is possible that the volcano will erupt again.

The travel disruptions have caused serious damages to the industry. The trade group International Air Transport Association, which represents 230 airlines operating 93 percent of global trade traffic, estimated the shutdown's cost for the industry amounts to about 200 million dollars each day.

Some Danish travel companies, such as Star Tour, have pledged to allow customers to cancel their trips and reclaim the costs. The Scandinavian airline SAS has decided that they will ask over 2,500 Norwegian employees to have unpaid holidays from next Monday if the situation does not improve.

Some Danish hotels have greatly increased their prices. The Quality Airport Hotel Dan, possessing a number of chain hotels near airports of major cities in Denmark, has increased nightly fee by 40 percent, from 880 U.S. dollars up to 1240 U.S. dollars.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:王寒露)

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