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Updated: April 22, 2010 12:15 IST

Flight operations to Europe resume

PTI
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RECONNECTING: A passenger celebrates with her relatives after she arrived at the San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday. Her flight from Amsterdam was also delayed due to the Iceland's volcanic eruption.
AP RECONNECTING: A passenger celebrates with her relatives after she arrived at the San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday. Her flight from Amsterdam was also delayed due to the Iceland's volcanic eruption.

Normal flight operations of domestic and international carriers from India to western countries started on Thursday with the opening of European airspace almost after a week.

Air India resumed normal services on sectors like Delhi-London-Delhi, Delhi-Frankfurt-Delhi, Mumbai-London -Mumbai, Delhi-New York-Delhi, Mumbai-New York-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chicago-Mumbai, Amritsar-London-Toronto-London-Amritsar and Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Newark-Mumbai today.

On Friday, it would operate an additional Mumbai-London -Mumbai flight with Boeing 747-400, which was used by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his trip to Brazil, to clear the backlog of passengers.

On Wednesday, Air India began its European operations with the launch of its dailies from Delhi to Paris and Frankfurt.

Jet Airways too resumed its flights to London from Delhi and Mumbai and relaunched its hub operations at Brussels. It would now connect Newark and Toronto with Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai through Brussels.

On Wednesday, the private carrier operated an additional flight on Mumbai-London-Mumbai sector to clear the backlog of passengers stranded at London’s Heathrow airport, which remained closed for almost week due to air traffic disruption in the European airspace due to volcanic ash from Iceland.

Kingfisher Airlines will also start its normal operations on Delhi—London and Mumbai—London sector.

“After the opening of UK airspace, Kingfisher Airlines will commence its flights to and from London Heathrow from today. The flights would be operated as per the normal scheduled time unless otherwise advised by the Air Traffic Control in UK or other countries in the flight path,” an airlines spokesperson said.

German carrier Lufthansa, French carrier Air France and Swiss Airways have also resumed their normal services to Munich, Amsterdam, Paris and Zurich.

The airlines have asked the passengers to get their tickets confirmed before coming to the airport due to the massive backlog.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said the volcanic ash disruption had caused the airline industry losses to the tune of USD 1.7 billion in the past six days. About 1.2 million passengers were affected in the process.

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