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May 10, 2010

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Ash continues to cloud Europe-bound flights

THE cloud of Iceland's volcanic ash stretching across much of the northern Atlantic continues to ground some flights to European cities such as Paris and Amsterdam from Pudong International Airport.

China East Airlines officials said yesterday that flights to Paris had been canceled while a decision about flights to Frankfurt would be made later.

Flights to London and Moscow have not been affected thus far.

The volcano's influence this time is limited compared with the closure of European airspace last month when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano first erupted.

Almost all flights leaving Shanghai for major European cities such as London, Frankfurt, Paris and Helsinki were canceled.

The new ash cloud since Friday has shut 19 airports in Spain. Shanghai has no direct flights to Spanish cities. Passengers have to go to Beijing to transfer.

Air China said yesterday it had delayed some of its European flights including those to Madrid leaving from Beijing.

According to the European flight control agency, flights had to be rerouted north over Greenland or south over Spain to avoid the cloud, which stretched 1,200 miles from Iceland to northern Spain.

The detour increased flying times by about an hour in either direction.


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