European airspace reopens as ash clears

Afp May 13, 2010

MADRID: Restrictions on flights to and from airports in Spain, Portugal and Morocco were, on Wednesday, lifted following days of disruption caused by volcanic ash cloud.

In Spain, all airports resumed normal operations, with Valencia, the last to see restrictions lifted, reopening from 0600 GMT, said the Spanish air traffic control organisation Aena. A ban on flights was also lifted at all Portuguese airports on Wednesday, said Portugal's NAV air traffic authority.

"There is no more disruption," said a statement issued by the authority. However, flights from Tunisia to Morocco and some European destinations were disrupted, although Tunisia's transport ministry said that flights had only been delayed and none cancelled.

"There has been some disruption since Tuesday to flights leaving Tunisian airports destined for Spain, Portugal and Italy because of the ash cloud from the volcanic eruption," the ministry said. In Morocco, the main airports, in particular Casablanca and Rabat, re-opened at 0600 GMT on Wednesday after overnight restrictions.

Algerian officials said the ash had reached as far as the east of the capital Algiers but that air traffic remained normal so far. The ash from Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano, which began erupting on April 14, last month caused the biggest aerial shutdown in Europe since World War II.

Volcanologists in Iceland said the latest ash cloud problems, which first forced closures of Spanish airports from last Saturday, were caused by ash left over from previous weeks which can travel around in the atmosphere due to winds.

Facebook Conversations