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    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Qantas cancels flights as ash smothers Europe

    Qantas cancels flights as ash smothers Europe

    Updated 18 minutes ago
    No-fly zone: The sun sets over grounded aircraft at London's Gatwick Airport (AFP: Carl Court)



    Qantas has cancelled four flights to London and one to Frankfurt, as air traffic across Europe faces massive disruption because of a volcanic ash cloud being blasted out of an Icelandic glacier.
    The volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier is spewing a plume of grey ash up to 10 kilometres high across the Atlantic, closing major airports more than 2,000 kilometres away in the most extensive shutdown of airspace since the September 11 attacks in 2001.
    The entire airspace in the UK, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden is closed and there are partial closures in France and Finland. Thousands of other Europe-bound passengers from Asia, the United States and Australia have been left stranded.
    Qantas says four scheduled flights to London's Heathrow airport and one to Frankfurt have been cancelled today after the UK announced it was extending its airspace closure.
    The airline says it is making contact with passengers who were due to be on the planes.
    More than 1,000 Qantas passengers are stranded in Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok as the volcanic eruption causes air traffic chaos around the world.
    Last night Qantas cancelled two flights to London and there are also reports of Australians stranded in Frankfurt.
    The airline is now urging passengers to check its website before setting off to the airport to board scheduled flights to London.
    Airline spokesman David Epstein says even if the UK does reopen its airspace there will still be delays with a backlog of flights.
    Volcanic ash contains tiny particles of glass and pulverised rock, which can melt in plane engines, causing a loss of power.
    Tags: business-economics-and-finance, industry, disasters-and-accidents, volcanic-eruption, air-transport, australia, hong-kong, singapore, thailand
    First posted 2 hours 38 minutes ago




    http://abc.com.au/news/stories/2010/...section=justin

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