Volcano update: European airspace may reopen soon

  • David Harris
  • April 19, 2010
  • Archive

According to a Reuters report, European Transport Ministers have reached a deal to gradually lift flight restrictions imposed
because of the ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano. The agreement will become effective at 06:00 GMT on 20 April (Tuesday), but it is not yet known how quickly traffic will be allowed to resume.

Air France is reported to be moving its freighters back to Paris CDG from various points around the globe in anticipation of an easing of flight restrictions. And, as of early evening GMT, the UK’s National Air Traffic Services was planning to reopen UK airspace at 07:00 Tuesday morning.

In the meantime, forwarders, carriers, and express companies are doing their best to work around the problem, generally by transporting shipments by air to the closest open gateway, then using road transport to reach the final destination. Needless to say, this has hardly been a perfect solution to the problem, and a considerable amount of freight has simply not moved. In most cases this freight will move eventually, but reports are beginning to surface that some shipments of fresh produce and flowers have had to be destroyed.

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