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Volcanic ash cloud bound for Switzerland

A new volcanic ash cloud is expected to arrive over Switzerland during Sunday night but it will be too weak to hinder most flights, Swiss aviation officials said.

This content was published on May 9, 2010 - 17:49

The Federal Civil Aviation Office said the ash from the same Icelandic volcano that disrupted air traffic last month was still cause for concern. It ordered pilots flying through certain zones to visually inspect their crafts for signs of damage.

Dozens of flights to Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland, Britain and Hungary were cancelled at Geneva airport, an easyJet hub. The airline warned of disruption to flights operating to and from Switzerland, southern and central France, northern Italy and northern Portugal.

Zurich airport listed flights to Washington, Dublin and Porto as cancelled. The closure of German airports forced Swiss airlines to cancel 16 flights, mainly to Germany, Budapest and Amsterdam.

Sweeping closures of European airspace last month disrupted the travel of millions of passengers in Europe and elsewhere, and cost airlines more than €1billion (SFr1.41billion) in revenues.

Scientific assessments led to a decision to restrict closures to areas of higher ash concentration, after lower concentrations were found not to be damaging aircraft engines.

The European air traffic agency Eurocontrol warned over the weekend of a rise in emissions from the volcano, Eyjafjallajokull.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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