Volcanic ash halts West-bound Indian flights

Hundreds of air passengers are stranded at Chhatrapati Shivaji Intarnational Airport in Mumbai.

Last Updated: Apr 17, 2010, 12:16 PM IST

Mumbai: Around 900 passengers were stranded at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Saturday as flights to several places in Europe were cancelled following volcanic ash clouding the flight path.

All flights from Mumbai to London, cities in the US and Canada have been cancelled and flights to India are also delayed indefinitely, officials said.

"Our flights to London remain cancelled on Saturday too," said Prakash Mirpuri, spokesperson of Kingfisher Airlines.

Harried passengers had gathered in front of the major airline offices at the airport, demanding priority booking.

Meanwhile, spokespersons of major airlines said that in case of cancellation and rescheduling of passengers` travel plans, all penalties will be waived. Passengers have been advised to call the airline office to know their flight schedule before proceeding for airports, officials said.

Ash spewing from a volcano in Iceland since Wednesday continued to hang over European skies on Saturday, shutting down major airport hubs like Frankfurt, London and Paris for the second consecutive day.

The British Air Traffic Control has prohibited aircraft from entering certain parts of airspace over Britain as flying ash can compromise visibility and debris can be sucked into the engines of aircraft.