Belgium extends airspace closure to 0600 GMT Monday

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Belgium will extend the closure of its airspace until 8:00 am (0600 GMT) Monday due the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland, but Belgian airlines can fly back planes without passengers, the Belgian transport ministry said Sunday.

BRUSSELS - "The meteorological conditions are expected to improve during the night and Belgian companies will be allowed to repatriate their planes, but empty, without passengers," said transport ministry spokesman Jan Pauwels.

He added that authorities would meet on Monday to determine if some flights with passengers can resume.

Earlier Sunday Eric Schouppe, Belgium's secretary of state for transport on public television RTBF, said certain flights could resume "if conditions are again safe."

Schouppe is waiting for the results of tests being conducted by KLM and Lufthansa airlines to measure the impact of the volcanic ash on their planes, Pauwels said.


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