Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Few European Airports Reopen to Limited Traffic

AMSTERDAM-Some European airports were reopening to limited traffic Monday after volcanic ash forced their closures, a day after the European Union said that if weather forecasts confirm the skies are clearing, air traffic over the continent could return to about 50 percent of normal levels.Austrian authorities said they had reopened the country's airspace, though many flights remain canceled, and Stockholm's Arlanda Airport was reopening for limited air traffic after the country's aviation authority lifted airspace restrictions over a large part of the country. Most flights were still canceled.Finland opened its Tampere and Turku airports but kept its main airport in Helsinki shut, and most Norwegian airspace had reopened starting Sunday evening, allowing mostly domestic flights to resume at Oslo's Gardermoen airport.The prospects for a return to normal air travel remained far from clear, however. Authorities in Germany, Britain and the Netherlands said air space was still closed.Several major airlines safely tested the skies with weekend flights that did not carry passengers. Germany temporarily loosened some airspace restrictions before the EU announcement Sunday evening, allowing limited operations from some of its largest airports before closing them again Sunday evening.Other countries enforced closures on their national airspace through late Sunday, Monday or even Tuesday as meteorologists warned that the airborne ash was still unpredictable and potentially dangerous....
Picture Left:April 18: Passengers wait to check in at British Airways to try and catch flights to Europe at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.

No comments: