European Flights Back to Normal: Eurocontrol
    2010-04-23 19:20:17     Xinhua      Web Editor: Jiang Aitao
 

Ash billows from Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano, seen here from Hella, Iceland on April 22. Four small airports in remote parts of Scotland have been forced to close because of more volcanic ash from Iceland. [Photo: Xinhua/AFP]

Related: Volcano Eruption Weakens in Iceland

Flights in Europe have returned to normal, one week after an Icelandic volcano eruption caused the continent to almost completely shut down its airspace, the European air safety coordination body Eurocontrol said on Friday.

"At the current time, almost all European airspace is available, with the exception of part of northern Scotland," Eurocontrol said in a statement.

The body expected 29,000 flights to take place on Friday, the normal number.

European Union Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas on Friday told a news conference that "the news on flights remains encouraging. For the second day in a row, we are expecting about 28,000 flights to take place in Europe. Europe's airspace is getting back to normal operating capacity."

More than 100,000 flights have been canceled since April 14 when European countries enforced the shutdown following the Icelandic volcanic eruption, stranding millions of passengers. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) put the overall cost of the airline industry at 1.7 billion U.S. dollars.

Kallas said that he would present on April 27 a road map on the follow-up to the crisis to the College of Commissioners.

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