Air traffic returns to normal after bomb scare

11th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

11 August 2006, LONDON - The British government and major airlines said Friday they hoped air traffic would return to normal a day after the major disruptions caused by the foiled terrorist plot, while authorities in other regions including Germany reported a gradual normalization. While knock-on effects, and the continued ban on hand luggage being taken on board, remained, British Airways (BA) said it hoped to get "the majority of flights away" Friday. BA, which cancelled more than 400 flights Thursday, s

11 August 2006

LONDON - The British government and major airlines said Friday they hoped air traffic would return to normal a day after the major disruptions caused by the foiled terrorist plot, while authorities in other regions including Germany reported a gradual normalization.

While knock-on effects, and the continued ban on hand luggage being taken on board, remained, British Airways (BA) said it hoped to get "the majority of flights away" Friday.

BA, which cancelled more than 400 flights Thursday, said it was hoping to operate 70 per cent of its short-haul services out of Heathrow, with around 120 flights likely to be cancelled.

Among them were six US flights, three of them to New York and the others to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington.

Budget airlines, which carry thousands of people off on summer holidays, remained among the worst hit.

EasyJet, which axed around 300 flights Thursday, on Friday cancelled 112 flights, saying it needed to catch up on the disruptions.

Rival Ryanair scrapped more than 30 flights to and from Stansted Airport in Essex.

EasyJet said it decided to cancel flights to destinations that passengers could at least get to by train.

Consequently, the airline scrapped its services from Luton, Stansted and Gatwick to destinations in Scotland, as well as to Paris, Amsterdam and Geneva.

Spokesman Toby Nicol said: "We could have been heroic and tried to run a full service and fallen flat on our faces. Instead we have been realistic and scrapped those services to which passengers can get to by train.

"It's been much better today. Airports have had 24 hours to get used to the new systems and passengers have been very good about arriving without hand luggage," he added.

In Germany, air traffic operations gradually returned to normal on Friday, although officials said delays of several hours had affected flights to Britain and the US due to tightened security checks.

But the main carrier Lufthansa said that none of its flights on Friday had to be cancelled, after 36 flights were stricken on Thursday. The second-biggest carrier, Air Berlin, cancelled three inner-British flights, one each from London Stansted to Belfast, Manchester and Glasgow.

Meanwhile reports from other European airports reported few further disruptions. In Spain, the Iberia airline used its largest planes on the Madrid-London route in order to accomodate more passengers who had been stranded after Thursday's flight cancellations.

In Poland, operations were reported to be virtually normal again in the country's main airports, although extra security controls meant delays of up to 45 minutes in flights to British destinations, Polish radio reported.

The Polish airline LOT in the meantime adopted the new security regulations for in banning any liquid or gelatinous substances in passengers' hand luggage for flights to the US.

DPA

Subject: German news

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