Heathrow airport may open to flights for a while Tuesday

April 20th, 2010 - 4:16 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) London’s Heathrow Airport is expected to operate for some hours from Tuesday night, five days after an ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano spread to Europe and disrupted flights, the government said Tuesday.
“Indications have been received that Heathrow Airport may get operational for limited hours from tonight (Tuesday), in which case, Air India will start Europe operations depending upon the availability of slots there,” the civil aviation ministry said in a statement.

Currently Air India is flying to the U.S. and Canada via Cairo, while private carrier Jet Airways is flying to these destinations via Athens (Greece) since Monday.

“Air India has two planes stranded at Heathrow and one at Frankfurt which will become operational when the respective airports start functioning. As of now, there are about 3,000 Europe-bound passengers stranded in India who have bookings with Air India,” it said.

“Efforts are being made to carry Europe-bound passengers to Athens and there on by road to other destinations in Europe. As of now, there are about 6,000 Europe-bound passengers stranded in India who have booked with Jet Airways,” the statement said.

Lufthansa has also started services to Munich and Austrian destination from Tuesday morning and priority is being given to stranded passengers, it said.

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