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Europe Partially Resumes Flights

Posted April. 21, 2010 05:19,   


European airlines yesterday partially resumed flight operations after the eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland. More time is needed to fully restore service, however, as volcanic ash continues to spread in the air.

The Associated Press said certain long-distance routes, including flights from Parks` Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York`s John F. Kennedy Airport, were resumed Tuesday.

On Monday, the Dutch air carrier KLM’s three airplanes carrying around 800 passengers bound for New York, Shanghai and Dubai took off from Amsterdam`s Schiphol International Airport. Germany’s Lufthansa also got permission from its government to partially resume flights in Frankfurt and Munich. It planned to operate 200 airplanes Tuesday.

At a videoconference meeting of transportation ministers Monday, the European Union agreed to gradually ease its flight ban by dividing the flight zone into three areas: a "no-fly" zone immediately over the ash cloud; a caution zone "with some contamination" where planes can fly subject to checks for engine damage; and an open-skies zone. Eurocontrol, the European air navigation and safety organization, said, “Unless the volcanic ash spreads further, flights will return to normal Thursday.”

Among Korean air carriers, Asiana partially resumed flights bound for Europe. One of its cargo planes left for Frankfurt Tuesday, and the operations of passenger flights to the German city will be normalized Wednesday. Korean Air also says several of its cargo and passenger planes for Europe will take off today.

The Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry in Seoul said 88 passenger and 55 cargo planes going through Incheon International Airport have been canceled since last Thursday. It will add flights to help domestic companies suffering difficulty in exporting to Europe due to the volcanic ash when airlines resume operations.