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Airports closed

May 9, 2010

Munich and other southern German airports have reopened, after a cloud of volcanic ash shut down operations on Sunday. Earlier, flights in Portugal, Italy and France were also cancelled.

A plume of ash rising from Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull volcano
More ash means more airport closures across EuropeImage: AP

Germany's DFS air safety agency has reopened southern German airports, after a giant cloud of ash stretching 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) forced closures on Sunday afternoon.

Munich, Stuttgart, and Memmingen airports were all reopened as of 21:00 local time on Sunday, but officials warned delays would likely continue Monday as airlines rescheduled hundreds of cancelled flights.

More volcanic activity

Across Europe, airlines have struggled to cope with renewed volcanic ash from the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano in Iceland. Dozens of airports across Spain, Portugal and Italy closed on Saturday and Sunday, cancelling flights to and from these locations.

Airports on the western coast of Ireland, including Donegal, Sligo and Ireland West (Knock), Galway and Kerry were shut down on Sunday, but will reopen Monday at 6:00 am (0500 GMT) the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said.

A large part of Italy’s northern airspace was shut down on Sunday morning until at least early afternoon, affecting Milan, though airports in Venice, Trieste and Rimini were spared. A bulletin issued by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center said the cloud should remain over Italy until Sunday evening.

In Portugal, all flights to the northern city of Porto were suspended, with normal operations expected to resume by 0600 GMT Monday, airport officials there said.

The French aviation agency said its airspace was still open, though some 30 flights from Paris to southern Europe had been cancelled. It warned that airports in southern France, including Bordeaux, Toulouse and Marseille, could be affected by Monday.

Closures across Europe

Nineteen airports in Spain closed on Saturday, according to AENA, the country's air traffic authority. Areas affected included Bilbao, San Sebastian, Vigo, Saragossa, Pamplona and La Rioja.

Barcelona, Spain's second largest airport, was also closed but reopened on Sunday, as did all but three airports in the northwest region of Galicia. The government has warned that Spanish airspace could again be affected in the coming week.

Editor: Kyle James