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Volcano ash forces airspace shutdown

Volcano ash forces airspace shutdown

Published: 15 Apr 2010 11:39 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Apr 2010 16:09 GMT+02:00

Most Swedish airspace is to be shut down from 6pm on Thursday as volcanic ash continues to drift eastward from Iceland, the Civil Aviation Authority, LFV, has said.

"We are closing airspace sectors one by one and we are following the ash cloud ... It's coming from the northwest" of Sweden, LFV spokesman Carl Felling told AFP.

"We will close Malmö and the south parts of Sweden at 4pm, and everything except the Baltic Sea and the island of Gotland will close by 6pm," he said.

LFV added that it was too early too say when Swedish airspace could be reopened.

Scandinavian airline SAS cancelled 635 flights, or almost three quarters of its daily air traffic, on Thursday because of ash from a volcano eruption in Iceland, a company spokeswoman said.

"So far, we have cancelled 635 flights out of 870 daily. The ones flying were mostly in Denmark and Sweden, while there was barely any traffic in Norway," Elisabeth Manzi said.

Budget airline Ryanair has already cancelled all flights to and from Sweden from 11.30am on Thursday, with volcanic ash also leading to airport closures across the country.

Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority closed the skies in northern Sweden as a cloud of ash caused interference in Swedish aerospace.

The authority introduced the flight ban from 10pm on Wednesday for all air space north of Luleå but expanded the area down to Skellefteå at around 6am on Thursday.

The measures come amid fears that the clouds of ash could damage aircraft engines.

The volcanic eruption occurred on Wednesday under a glacier in the Eyjafjallajökull area of Iceland and was the second eruption in the country in the space of a month.

The eruption sent a huge ash cloud across Northern Europe, prompting airspace closure in Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and hundreds of flight cancellations worldwide.

Icelandic airports, however, reported no problems.

"The wind is blowing the ash to the east," Hjordis Gudmundsdottir of the Icelandic Airport Authority told AFP, adding: "It's amazing really."

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:31 April 15, 2010 by JulieLou40
My partner's supposed to be visiting from Lulea to the UK next Thursday...really hope it's gone by then :-(
14:37 April 15, 2010 by farnoxo
My partner is stuck in Copenhagen for business. They will rent a car and drive back from Mälmö - what a mission!
14:51 April 15, 2010 by Jay02
Am stuck in SE Asia, flight cancelled. Dunno when i ll reach home :( and cant get through to the travel agency their phone lines are busy, have sent them an email though.
16:33 April 15, 2010 by Bensonradar
It's a bit like the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Plumes flow in the stratosphere and land on innocent countries. In this case, volcanic ash acts like grinding compound to aircraft jet engines and stops the turbines and highly-engineered working parts from running. Nose dive.
16:41 April 15, 2010 by peropaco
My partner and I are stranded in a villa in forte dei marmi with nothing but wine and dolce ;-)
17:33 April 15, 2010 by sissygirl
peropaco: You're a bad boy.

I hope this clears soon. My husband flies from the US to Germany next week for a new job.
22:36 April 15, 2010 by peropaco
Hej sissygirl. ;-) Congrats for your husband new job
00:05 April 16, 2010 by wxman
More evidence of global warming. Oh wait, this was geological...
03:54 April 16, 2010 by askin
It looks like that ash is working well to cure constipation.
04:09 April 16, 2010 by xenyasai
@wxman: Before you say anything more, the can actually have a great impact on the environment; and it is rarely positive if you look at history.
09:12 April 16, 2010 by Nora
"Icelandic airports, however, reported no problems."

Ha, this is the funny part. All north Europe airports are closed while right next to volcano no problem is reported!
09:18 April 16, 2010 by anony1
the funny thing is also every one has a partner! cool!
15:00 April 17, 2010 by douglasheld
I am stranded in Stockholm and am considering buying a simple car to drive back to London.

I would appreciate to find some Swedish people in London who would like to take this car back home!

Email bil at douglasheld punkt net to discuss!
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