Airlines Begin Recovery From Flight Disruptions

Airlines around the world have begun to restore flights to and from Europe, following the reopening of airspace after nearly a week of disruption to schedules as a result of the volcanic ash cloud.


Air France

As of yesterday evening, Air France expects to operate 100 percent of its long-haul schedule and nearly all of its medium-haul services today (21 April 2010). Passengers connecting in Paris from long-haul destinations will be assured of connecting flights. However, flights to northern and northeastern Europe will not operate as the airspace there remains closed.


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British Airways

A statement issued yesterday by British Airways plans for the airline to operate all long-haul services departing from London (Heathrow) and London (Gatwick) airports today (21 April 2010). Short-haul operations to and from London (all airports) are expected to remain cancelled until 1300 hrs (UK time) and possibly beyond.


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Cathay Pacific

The Hong Kong-based airline continues to take a cautious approach to resuming its European services. Today’s (21 April 2010) flights to and from Amsterdam, Frankfurt and London (Heathrow) remaining cancelled, while Milan and Rome services have been delayed. However, Cathay Pacific’s flights to Paris remain normal and will operate as scheduled. As of 1000 hrs (Hong Kong time), the airline has also cancelled selected flights for 22 April 2010 and is rescheduling services delayed from 15 and 16 April 2010.


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Dubai’s Emirates is trying to operate as many flights possible on its European routes today (21 April 2010). Based on expected airspace availability, the airline currently expects to operate flights to Birmingham, Glasgow, London (Heathrow and Gatwick), Manchester and Newcastle in the UK, one of its biggest markets. Elsewhere in Europe, flights to and from Austria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Russia and Switzerland continue to operate normally, while flights to and from Germany may be cancelled or re-routed.


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Etihad Airways

The majority of Etihad’s flights to and from Europe are operating on time or with slight delays. However, the national airline of the UAE has cancelled flights to and from Abu Dhabi and Dublin, Frankfurt and Manchester today (21 April 2010).


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The Dutch airline is resuming operations in phases and will operate all intercontinental services to and from Amsterdam today (21 April 2010), with an extra flight being mounted to Bonaire and Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles. European flights have been gradually restarted since Tuesday (20 April 2010) and are expected to be progressively increased in the coming days. However, KLM will not fly today (21 April 2010) to and from Finland, Norway, Sweden, the UK and some airports in northern Germany, namely Bremen, Hamburg and Hanover.


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Like most of its European counterparts, Germany’s Lufthansa is scheduled to operate all long-haul services to and from its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich today (21 April 2010). The airline is still contemplating its domestic and intra-european flights, operating only selected services as it continues to monitor the situation.


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Australia’s Qantas Airways, a key player on the Kangaroo Route, will resume services to and from Europe via Asia today (21 April 2010), with 2 flights operating from and 4 flights to London (Heathrow) and 1 flight from Singapore to Frankfurt. The airline will resume normal scheduled services between Australia and Europe tomorrow (22 April 2010).


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Qatar Airways

Like its fellow Gulf carriers, Qatar Airways is gradually resuming flights between its Doha base and Europe. While most flights remain cancelled or delayed, selected services are operating as scheduled. The airline has also deployed 3 jets to fly passengers stranded in Doha to Edinburgh and Lyon, from which arrangements were made to ferry them to London, Manchester and Paris. The 3 aircraft will also operate return flights to Doha for passengers stranded in France and the UK.


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Singapore Airlines

As of 1200 hrs (Singapore time), Singapore Airlines has confirmed the resumption of selected flights between Europe and Singapore. For today (21 April 2010), the airline will operate flights to London (Heathrow) and from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Rome and Zurich back to Singapore. Services from the Southeast Asian country to Copenhagen, Houston (via Moscow), Rome and Zurich have also been confirmed for tomorrow (22 April 2010). All other European services remained cancelled at this point.


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To better manage the situation, most airlines have disabled internet check-in facilities and are currently not accepting travellers with unconfirmed onward flight connections. Despite the resumption of flights by airlines, it will take several days for the travel backlog to clear and normal flight operations are not expected to be attained soon. The situation in Europe remains unpredictable and we advise travellers to confirm the status of their flight with the airlines before heading to the airport.

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