Three Spain airports remain closed, 180 flights cancelled

11th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Three airports on the Canary Islands and in southern Spain remained closed Tuesday due to the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland, but four others reopened, the Spanish air traffic control agency Aena said.

Spanish air authorities had shut seven airports but at midday only airports on the Canary Island of La Palma, and at Seville and Jerez in southern Spain were still shut down.

In all, some 161 flights were cancelled as of 0900 GMT and another 20 flights bound for the affected regions were grounded at airports in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, Aena said.

The airports that have reopened are the two on the island of Tenerife and one on La Gomera in the Canaries and Badajoz in southwest Spain.

Spain imposed overflight restrictions at altitudes between 20,000 and 35,000 feet (6,000 metres and 10,600 metres) in the skies over Seville, Madrid and Barcelona, Aena said.

Eurocontrol had warned on Monday that higher ash concentration could move in from the Atlantic over the Iberian Peninsula, causing travel headaches in Spain and Portugal.

Last month ash from Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano was responsible for the biggest-ever shutdown of European airspace to civilian air traffic since World War II.

© 2010 AFP

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