Many flights to and from Europe have been resumed for the first time after volcanic ash from Iceland threatened the safety of airplanes and airline passengers. Despite the reopening of flights, many airspace all across the continent will still remain closed or will be reclosed after a few days.
Airports in London, for instance, will not be open until Wednesday at the earliest if the volcanic ash cloud continues to stay over much of the United Kingdom. This includes Heathrow airport, which is the busiest in Europe.
Meanwhile, flights from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, Amsterdam, and other airports across Europe have taken off. German airspace also remained closed, although 800 planes were allowed to land or take off, all flying at low altitude.
The Eurocontrol air traffice agency in Brussels said about 53 percent of Europe’s 27,500 flights will go ahead on Tuesday, predicting a close to normal takeoffs on Friday. However, with more than 95,000 flights canceled in last week alone, airlines would have to face an enormous task of working through the backlog to get passengers where they want to go.
Passengers with current tickets were being given priority, while stranded passengers were being told to either pay for a new ticket, take the first available flight, or use their old ticket and wait for days for the first available seat.
Source: Associated Press