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Chaos rules over the airports in Greece

18 April 2010 / 08:04:24  GRReporter
3514 reads

Passengers to Northern European cities who had to leave from Athens by plane today also will remain waiting at the airport "Eleftherios Venizelos". Dozens of flights have already been canceled because of the clouds of volcanic ash from Iceland, which extended over the Balkans.

The likelihood of volcanic dust to reach the skies above Greece is almost negligible, are saying meteorologists from the University of Athens. "If the winds change and the volcano continues to be active we could not predict whether the ashes will or will not reach Greece," said Professor George Kalos, who is the head of the Laboratory for weather forecast.

The Aegean Airlines announced it canceles its flights to Paris, Munich, Frankfurt, Brussels, London, Stuttgart, Duesseldorf and Berlin. Out of the 28 000 aircrafts from various companies that fly daily over Europe, now will not fly more than 11 000. Thousands of passengers were confined at the airports while airlines are losing daily 200 million pounds.

According to weather forecast today, the situation will deteriorate, and problems at airports will continue for many days. According to the World Association of dispatchers a redistribution of flight plans has to be done and aircraft to change their routes. In most European countries, airlines delayed flights because they are afraid that the ash which containes pieces of glass, sand and stones falling from a height of 1 500 m may lead to tragic consequences for the aircrafts if they fall into their engines.

According to the latest developments in the UK the airport continues to be closed until 21:00 and flights in Scotland and Northern Ireland were banned again. Airline Ryanair canceled all its flights to northern Europe until 16:00 pm on Monday. 16 international airports in Germany will also remain closed. Airspace in the Netherlands is closed at least until 15:00, and British Airways canceled all its flights to London.

World Health Organization warned all who are in countries in Western Europe, where the cloud of the ash has spread to remain in closed areas, in case the ashes fall too low. Microorganisms can cause various problems such as cough, irritation in the eyes and skin, as well as serious lung diseases. Until yesterday the cloud remained in quite high altitudes of 6000-9000 meters, and it was not even visible from the ground, except for the fact that it made the sunset even more impressive.

The last major eruption of the Icelandic volcano was in 1821 and then it took almost two years to improve the situation. No expert can predict the state of the air and the only certain thing is that it deteriorates. European Air Traffic Control Office Εurocontrol announced that problems in air transport will continue and they will be serious and suggested that the ash will cover more areas of southern France, northern Italy and the Balkans.

 

Airports are closed in the following countries:

Belgium

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

Germany

Hungary

Ireland

Latvia

Netherlands

Slovakia

Switzerland

UK

Partial problems occur in the following countries:

Austria

France (flights are prohibited in the northern part of the country, the capital airports will remain closed until 15:00 h)

Italy (airspace in the northern pat of the country will remain closed until 15:00 pm)

Lithuania (only some airlines carry out their flights)

Norway (limited flights in the northern part of the country)

Poland

Sweden (northern part of the airspace opened on Friday)

Airports in Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Czech Republic and the Baltic countries will also not work and. In the northwestern part of Romania flights are also not carried out.

 

You can follow the movement of ash cloud here:

http://portal.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_rsite2_1_16/04/2010_322929

Using Greek printing materials

Tags: News volcanic ash flights airports
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