Volcanic ash grounds 1,000 flights
Published: May 18, 2010
Global - Airlines grounded 1,000 flights across Europe yesterday due to a fresh disruption from the Icelandic ash cloud.
Terminals from Northern Ireland to the Netherlands were closed, although most of the region's airspace was open again by the afternoon.
Previously, the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in April closed European airspace for six days, causing airlines a loss of US$1.7 billion. The volcano had been emitting ash intermittently in the weeks that followed, occasionally interrupting airline activity.
North American carriers like Delta Air Lines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. saw cancelled westbound services from Heathrow, Gatwick, Amsterdam, Dublin, Manchester and Glasgow, while Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. from Hong Kong diverted two London-bound flights.
Meanwhile, two flights from Singapore Airlines leaving Amsterdam and London respectively were rescheduled, while Nippon Airways Co. delayed a London flight by an hour. Other carriers like Japan Airlines Corp. and Qantas Airways Ltd. intended to continue operating flights, and Malaysian Airline System Bhd. planned to reschedule London and Amsterdam flights.
European carriers said airspace has sometimes been closed unnecessarily because predictions of ash cover were derived solely from theoretical projections, said a report by Bloomberg.
They have said the no-fly zones have been a "gross overreaction", and the exclusion of airlines from decision making have been criticised.
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- Singapore Airlines
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- Japan Airlines
- Qantas Airways
- Delta Air Lines
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