Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Merkel in Kiev amid Russian aid convoy ‘escalation’

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Philippines to repatriate UN troops in Liberia over Ebola fears

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Europe

Spread of new ash cloud shuts Spanish airports

Video by Mark Thompson

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-09

The arrival of a new ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano has forced the closure of airports in Portugal and north-western Spain, causing more air traffic disruptions in Europe.

AFP - European air traffic faced growing disruption Saturday as a cloud of ash spewing from an Icelandic volcano affected flights in Spain, France and Portugal and closed Barcelona airport, authorities said.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled while many transatlantic services were delayed as they skirted the plume of debris from the Eyjafjoell volcano, which plunged air travel across the continent into chaos last month.

"Ash eruptions are ongoing and the area of potential ash contamination is expanding," the Brussels-based European air traffic coordination agency Eurocontrol said in a statement.

FRANCE 24's correspondent in Madrid reporting on the latest air traffic disruptions

Transatlantic flights, being re-routed around the area owing to different concentrations of ash particles and predicted engine tolerance levels at different altitudes, were already experiencing "substantial delays", it said.

Approximately 25,000 flights were expected to cross European skies on Saturday, well down from more than 30,000 on Friday.

"The reduction of available airspace is also impacting flights arriving in or departing from the Iberian peninsula and delays could be expected," Eurocontrol said.

Spain shut down 19 airports because of the ash cloud including Barcelona, Spain's second biggest airport, which ceased operations at 3:30 pm (1330 GMT) on Saturday, national airport operator Aena said.

A total of 673 flights had already been cancelled and Aena said the closures would be in place until at least 2000 GMT Saturday. National airline Iberia suspended all flights to northern Spain.

In Portugal 104 flights serving Lisbon, Oporto and Faro were cancelled Saturday, hitting mainly low-cost airlines, airport officials and websites said.

Portugal's NAV air authority said it expected the ash cloud to separate into two in the evening, with one part moving east over the Iberian peninsula, leaving Portuguese airspace clear from around midnight.

However, the other half was expected to move west and cover the Azores islands in the Atlantic from 1700 GMT, closing airports and forcing a "reduction in transatlantic traffic" as flights "in the direction Americas-Europe will be left without an alternative".

In France the national weather service said the ash cloud would be covering the southern part of the country by late Saturday, with concentrations rising to 6,000 metres (20,000 feet).

Meteo France official Roxane Desire could not predict if the ash would disperse before Wednesday's opening of the Cannes film festival, when private jets in particular throng Riviera airports.

An Air France plane took off from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on Saturday afternoon on a flight to test ash levels, an airport sources said.

Marseille airport, the main French hub for low-cost carrier Ryanair, said all that company's flights from 1400 GMT had been cancelled, plus two services to Lisbon, making a total of 15 flights. There were also cancellations from Bordeaux in the southwest.

In Iceland itself some 60 people living around the volcano have left the area voluntarily following the fresh eruptions, a civil protection agency official said Saturday.

"There is a lot of ash falling and the community is affected," Gudrun Johannesdottir told AFP, adding that authorities were monitoring the situation closely but no evacuation had been ordered.

"The Red Cross opened centres for people needing assistance. Those leaving (the area) have to report to the Red Cross," she said.

Eyjafjoell began fresh and intensive ash eruptions overnight Thursday and caused Ireland and the Faroe Islands to shut their airspace for a time.

Bjoern Oddsson, a geologist at the University of Iceland, said the smoke plume over the volcano had risen to seven kilometres (4.5 miles) Saturday and was bearing southeast.

"The volcanic activity is similar to what it was yesterday and hasn't increased, even though it might seem like that to the people living in the area affected by ash fall," he said.

The volcano began erupting on April 14 and caused travel chaos, with airspaces closed over several European nations for a week because of fears that aircraft engines would be damaged with fatal consequences.

It was the biggest aerial shutdown in Europe since World War II, with more than 100,000 flights cancelled and eight million passengers affected. The airline industry said it lost some 2.5 billion euros.
 

Date created : 2010-05-08

  • ICELAND

    Volcano roars again, threatens new aviation disruptions

    Read more

  • IRELAND

    Airspace to re-open after volcanic ash cloud restricts flights

    Read more

  • AVIATION

    Scottish and Irish airports close under fresh cloud of volcanic ash

    Read more

COMMENT(S)