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No planes in Swiss skies before Monday

The aviation authorities have again extended a ban for commercial air travel as a cloud of volcano ash from Iceland continues to hang over much of Europe.

This content was published on April 18, 2010 - 12:24

The Federal Civil Aviation Office said given the latest data it had no choice but to close Swiss airspace for safety reasons until Monday 2pm.

The office is to re-assess the situation at the beginning of the week, according to spokesman Daniel Göring.

About 20 countries in northern, central but also partially in southern Europe closed their airspace and extended flight bans into Monday.

Swiss Federal Railways has doubled its services on international lines to neighbouring countries, but many rail passengers have not been able to get seats.

Millions of stranded travellers across Europe face chaos and the International Air Transport Association (Iata) expects little or no improvement at short notice.

The last plane took off from Switzerland’s main airport of Zurich last Friday. More than 1,500 flights had to be cancelled since.

President Doris Leuthard had to call off her visit to Poland to attend the funeral of the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, on Sunday. with agencies

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