AI cancels all flights to Europe, North America

Last Updated: Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 15:52

New Delhi: With the volcanic clouds over the European airspace virtually shutting down global air traffic, Air India on Saturday announced cancellation of flights to Europe and North America scheduled for tomorrow.

Thousands of air travellers, both Indian and foreign,
faced inconvenience at the Delhi and Mumbai airports where
airline or airport officials could not confirm when they would
be able to fly.

Announcing closure of UK airspace till 1900 GMT today
(0030 hours IST tomorrow), British air navigation services
NATS in its latest update said, "Current forecasts show that
the situation is worsening throughout Saturday. We are
continuing to look for windows of opportunity to handle
individual flights in UK controlled airspace".

Announcing closure of UK airspace till 1900 GMT today
(0030 hours IST tomorrow), British air navigation services
NATS in its latest update said, "Current forecasts show that
the situation is worsening throughout Saturday. We are
continuing to look for windows of opportunity to handle
individual flights in UK controlled airspace".

Dubai-based Emirates Airline today cancelled all its
flights from Dubai to the UK and most to mainland Europe as
the impact of the icelandic ash cloud continued to cause
chaos.

All flights to London Heathrow, London Gatwick,
Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester and Glasgow have been
grounded, the airline said.

Abu Dhabi`s Etihad Airways has also said its services
to the UK, Ireland and some European destinations would be
affected "throughout the weekend".

Destinations in France and Germany have also been hit
with services to Paris, Dusseldorf and Hamburg cancelled on
Saturday.

The only Emirates flights to Europe on Saturday were
to Nice in southern France and to Moscow in Russia.

The UK`s National Air Traffic Service (Nats) said
current restrictions to UK air space would remain in place
until at least 6 pm on Saturday (9 pm UAE time).

Etihad Airways said on Friday it was cancelling
flights to the UK, Ireland and some European destinations on
Friday and throughout the weekend.

Services most affected include flights to and from
London Heathrow, Manchester, Frankfurt, Brussels and Paris,
the airline said in a statement.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Gulf, Saudi passengers
scheduled to return to the Kingdom from London and other
European destinations remain grounded at various airports.

Most of the other Western airlines including Air
France and Lufthansa said they had no information when the
European airports would become operational again.

Air France’s early Saturday flight to Paris was
cancelled and the flight from Riyadh was expected to be
severely delayed.

PTI




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