German airports to remain closed at least until Monday afternoon

April 19, 2010 10:42 am 

BERLIN, April 19 — All German airports will remain closed at least until 2 p.m. local time on Monday due to the spread of volcanic ash in German air space, announced German air traffic control Sunday evening.

The flight ban also applies to the two Berlin airports which had been allowed to reopen until 10 p.m. on Sunday at first and then until midnight.

The air traffic controllers had decided earlier to partially reopen six of Germany's 16 international airports, including two Berlin airports and the Frankfurt airport, for eastbound flights for a few hours on Sunday. It was the first time the flight ban has been loosened in the country since being imposed late Friday along with other northern European nations due to a cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland.

A spokesman of the Frankfurt airport said that within the small window of flight permission the airport had handled six takeoffs and 16 landings, all empty planes transferred by airlines to reposition their fleets. The biggest German airport normally record about 1,300 takeoffs and landings daily. (PNA/Xinhua) ALM

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