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Airport Chaos Continues

Mon 19th Apr 2010

Airports in Spain resumed service yesterday after having cancelled 194 flights due to the cloud of volcanic ash hanging over most of northern Europe.

However many other European airports remained closed for the fourth consecutive today.

Barcelona, Girona, Reus, Sabadell, Palma de Mallorca, Menorca, Son Bonet, Asturias, Santander, Bilbao, San Sebastián, Vitoria, Pamplona, Logroño, Huesca and Zaragoza all reopened at 15.30hrs on Sunday afternoon.

A number of airports in the south of France also reopened at the same time.

Lufthansa and KLM-Air France have been carrying out test flights with no passengers to find out whether it will be possible to restart operations again in the near future.

They say their flights across Holland and the north sea were entirely without incident, but that airspace between Iceland and Russia remains unsafe.

Only 4,000 out of the 24,000 flights scheduled for Sunday took off in the 27 European countries affected by the volcanic cloud.

The UK, Denmark, Italy and Germany remain shut until at least Monday morning, whilst Ireland and Switzerland's airports will be closed until tomorrow lunchtime.

In France, however, the airports of Nice, Marseille, Toulouse, Montpellier, Pau, Tarbes, Biarritz and Perpignan are still shut.

UK airspace is closed until at least Tuesday morning, and air authorities say the situation has worsened in the last few hours.

Ryanair in particular have announced that no flights will run to or from the UK until Wednesday at the very earliest, with other airlines expected to follow suit over the course of the day.

However, other routes to and from the UK such as P&O Ferries and Brittany Ferries along with Eurotunnel are experiencing an unprecedented demand for their services over the next few days and as such have laid on extra capacity. However there is now guaranteed that supply can meet demand and passengers have been urged to contact their chosen transport provider rather than simply ‘turn up' at the port.

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