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April 19, 2010

Northern European Air Cargo Traffic Halts Due to Ash Cloud

The eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland has brought air cargo in Northern Europe to a halt and disrupted services around the world. Several cargo carriers in China grounded flights and stopped accepting cargo due to the unavailability of warehouse space at airports, a

By cms admin

The eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland has brought air cargo in Northern Europe to a halt and disrupted services around the world.

Several cargo carriers in China grounded flights and stopped accepting cargo due to the unavailability of warehouse space at airports, according to Reuters.

In an attempt to handle intercontinental traffic, airlines are considering setting up hub activities in airports in Southern Europe, and using North African and Middle Eastern airports.

Incheon International Airport in South Korea, which has cancelled 20 inbound and 25 outbound cargo flights, suffered 3,216t of lost shipments to Europe between 16 and 19 April.

On a positive note, flights from some parts of Europe are expected to resume operations today following an agreement by the EU to free up airspace closed by a cloud of ash.

The deal has brought some respite to the industry, which is losing at least $250m a day due to the closure of European airspace.

Airports in Scotland reopened at 0600 GMT today, despite being warned by British air traffic controllers that a new ash cloud was headed for major air routes.

Britain’s National Air Traffic Services said in a statement that the volcano eruption in Iceland has strengthened and a new cloud of ash is spreading south-east towards the UK.

EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said more flight services have resumed, with flights leaving Amsterdam and Frankfurt late on Monday.

Germany will mostly maintain its no-fly zone until 1200 GMT today, Italian airspace will open from 0600 GMT and France will reopen some airports to create air corridors to Paris.

European aviation control agency Eurocontrol said flights may be permitted in a wider zone with a lower concentration of ash, and has estimated up to 9,000 flights to operate in Europe today, a third of the normal volume.

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