Iceland ash clouds halts air travel in Spain, Portugal
An ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano caused new disruption to air travel in Europe on Saturday with Spain shutting down 15 airports and Portugal cancelling 104 flights, authorities said.
Spain's airport authority announced it closed 15 airports in the north of the country because of the risks from ash from the Eyjafjoell volcano, which last month caused the Europe's biggest aerial shutdown since World War II.
"The evolution of the volcanic ash cloud coming from Iceland will force the closure from 1000 GMT of the airports in Bilbao, San Sebastian, Vitoria, Saragossa, Pamplona and La Rioja," the Aena authority said in a statement.
This was on top of closures announced earlier of airports at Santiago de Compostela, Corunna, Vigo, Asturies, Santander, Burgos, Leon, Valladolid and Salamanca.
The shutdown would last until at least 1600 GMT on Saturday, the air traffic authority said.
In Portugal 104 flights were cancelled at the airports in the northern city of Porto, Lisbon and Faro in the south, the Portuguese air traffic authority ANA said.
The ash last month forced the closure of Europe's skies for up to a week with more than 100,000 flights cancelled and eight million passengers affected.
© 2010 AFP