As many as 41,435 passengers have been affected at the Delhi and Mumbai airports because of the large-scale disruption in air traffic to the European and North American cities caused by the plume of volcanic ash drifting from Iceland.

“The Ministry of Civil Aviation has set up a control room — headed by Joint Secretary Prashant Shukul, with officials from the Ministry of External Affair and the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation — to clear the backlog,” Civil Aviation Secretary M. Madhavan Nambiar told reporters here on Monday.

Though Air India and Jet Airways resumed services to the U.S. through Greece and Egypt, the situation was still grim, he said. The Ministry asked the airlines not to charge more by taking advantage of the situation. The government was in talks with Greece to grant “third and fourth freedom” rights, which allow passengers from India to disembark and embark in Athens and take another flight or train to Europe.

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