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VOLCANO FLIGHT CHAOS
Major Swedish airports reopen

Major Swedish airports reopen

Published: 19 Apr 2010 07:38 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Apr 2010 10:19 GMT+02:00

"They are open for all transport north and west, and at high altitudes they are open in all directions," Carl Selling at LFV confirmed.

Stockholm Bromma Airport was forced to close briefly but was later reopened.

The movements of the volcanic ash cloud will determine how long the airports, located in Stockholm and Gothenburg, will remain open. A new forecast will be made at 2pm on Monday with the Swedish meteorological agency, SMHI, hopeful of positive developments.

"It is only the southernmost parts of the country which are getting in particles from the ash cloud," said meteorologist Alexandra Ohlsson at SMHI.

LFV is due to hold a crisis meeting on Monday to discuss the long period of disruption.

"LFV is bleeding and is having a tough time, just like all other companies which have been affected by this," Carl Selling said.

Budget airline Norwegian plans to deploy two extra planes on Monday morning to travel to Malaga to collect stranded passengers headed for Oslo and Stockholm. A first come first served policy will be applied, the airline said in a statement, with competition for seats intense after a long weekend of disruption.

Two extra departures are also planned from Las Palmas during the morning - one to Stockholm and one to Oslo. The same principle applies to the Malaga flights and check-in opens at 8am.

Norwegian's domestic routes and Stockholm-Oslo will also re-open on Monday morning.

Scandinavian airline SAS has however confirmed that almost all its flights would remain grounded on Monday except for flights from the US and a few from Norway.

At midnight on Sunday, Gävle/Söderhamn and Mora opened for flights north and west and from 2am Monday airspace over the Baltic Sea, Småland, Östergötland, Sörmland and Västergötland reopened at high altitude. This means that planes to and from Europe can pass through Swedish airspace.

Planes that take off outside of Europe and have Britain as their destination can land in Spain, according to an agreement between the two countries' prime ministers, reports Spanish radio RNE.

Travellers from Asia, South and North America bound for Britain will then be able to complete their journeys by land or sea, according to the agreement.

Spain's transport minister has also offered their other European colleagues access to Spanish airports which are not affected by the Icelandic ash cloud.

A test flight by British Airways found "no problems" and was able to complete its journey "perfectly", the British airline confirmed on Sunday. The BA test deploying a Boeing 747 last three hours and carried the firm's CEO Willie Walsh onboard.

Air France, KLM and Lufthansa have all previously completed test flights without complications.

Related links:

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

09:51 April 19, 2010 by krow
@Local. Hope you guys verified very well. Because I am supposed to travel with SAS to Köpenhamn but got message it was cancelled. I have also been calling the airline to get my money back. But most of the calls keep saying call back next week for refund.
10:02 April 19, 2010 by rba
Shame on the airlines for declaring all is good after conducting just a few flights without incident (some of them at low altitude like the Lufthansa ones).

The Finnish air force reported damage to one of its fighter jets, as mentioned in several articles. I guess we won't see any airlines bringing that to our attention...
13:42 April 19, 2010 by zachc
But were not the fighter jets flown last week, early on in the crisis compared to the last couple days for the test flights?
14:23 April 19, 2010 by rba
When the jets were flown, there wasn't even an airspace ban yet. The fact it was early in the crisis doesn't mean it's any better now, unless I'm missing something.

If you read about those test flights, many of them were in fact not testing anything, just moving airplanes around to position them for after the crisis is over. Air Berlin and Lufthansa at least flew planes at low altitudes, in constant contact with air traffic control. That is completely different from a real flight.

Furthermore, check out the statements of an expert who has inspected the cloud from the air (from a CNN article today):

"Guy Gratton, head of the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements at Britain's Cranfield University, flew into the skies Thursday and saw "a really strange and complex set of layers of ash," with a layer of perfectly clear air suddenly giving way to a layer of ash, he told CNN. If particles of ash enter a jet engine, when they come out they can solidify on turbine blades, he said.

"I suspect it's going to be a few days yet" before it's safe to fly, Gratton added."

The only thing these tests prove is that the airlines are losing a lot of money and desperately want to fly again, to the point that their CEO risks getting on a plane during a ban on air travel.
17:20 April 19, 2010 by joe90
there are a few flights taking off and landing at Bromma Airport.all within the country Goteborg Umea. nothing overseas it is a strange feeling to be at a airport at the bussiest time of the day and only a few flights coming in.

no waiting at security just check in and go too the gate so strange

Lovely Blue Sky.
18:39 April 19, 2010 by izbz
Yah!!!!!!! I am flying to Crete for a week of sun and warm on friday, am keeping fingers cross.

For sure after the iceland financial crisis and this time the cremation by the volcano, the Icelander are scattering their ashes all over europe. Hell of a funeral service!
17:55 April 20, 2010 by Catch
Flying in ash may not be a great idea. See the bit in the article at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2011649845_volash20.html about the NASA research plane that flew through a high ash cloud. There were no inflight problems, but a post-flight inspection showed some real problems inside the engines that required more than $3 million to repair. Since I'm supposed to be visiting Sweden in late May from the US, this concerns me. Just keeping my fingers crossed, I guess.
09:14 April 21, 2010 by americanska
there is a british airline exec saying that europe should use the same tracking methods that the FAA does, allowing planes to fly around the ash. Most of the flights could have been in the air most of this time. Not sure how accurate he was but if it's true I'm pretty annoyed about this whole situation.
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