Clariant resumes aircraft de-icer output after winter halt

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Swiss chemicals firm Clariant, one of the main suppliers of aircraft de-icing fluid in Europe, said on Monday that it was resuming production after a halt caused by shortage of a key ingredient.

Clariant had warned last Thursday of the possibility of more disruption to European air travel as it announced a production halt from January 1 to 4 following soaring demand caused by the harsh winter in December.

"We have received the raw materials earlier than expected," a spokesman for the company told AFP.

He said deliveries of de-icing fluid, which is sprayed on airliners before they take off in icy conditions, would resume on Tuesday morning to about 100 European airports.

Supplies of one of the ingredients, the anti-freeze glycol, from another company were unable to keep up with the demand.

Heavy snowfall in Europe last month caused widespread disruption to air travel, forcing some airports to close at the height of the Christmas holiday rush. Berlin and Roissy airport in Paris also reported intermittent shortages of vital de-icing fluid.

Clariant said demand last month had grown by 50 percent compared to December 2009.

© 2011 AFP

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