10-May-2010 11:42 AM

EUROCONTROL: Ash affects 500 flights in Europe on 09-May-2010

EUROCONTROL stated it expected approximately 24,500 flights to operate in European airspace on 09-May-2010, approximately 500 less than usual. There were 22,424 flights on 08-May-2010, approximately 200 less than usual. On 09-May-2010, "renewed and more intensive ash eruptions" were substantially affecting European airspace, in particular between the ground and 20,000 ft. Airports in the north and centre of Portugal were affected, as were airports in north-western Spain. Airports in the Milan area were unavailable due to airspace closures until midday, and Pisa and Florence airports were also closed. EUROCONTROL stated, "during the day, it is expected that the area affected by the ash cloud will shrink and most of the airports that are currently closed are expected to open later".

The body added, "trans-Atlantic flights continue to be affected by the ash cloud. Flights are required to make significant rerouting to avoid the area of ash cloud coverage. This is leading to some delays. However significant numbers of cancellations have not occurred".

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