The giant no-fly zone over Europe, caused by flying ash from an erupting Iceland volcano, continued to grow on Friday, grounding thousands more flights across the world.
<b1>It led to the cancellation of all flights from India to the US, UK and most of Europe. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, returning from Brazil, had to take a detour — with a Johannesburg stop-over — to avoid Frankfurt before reaching India on Saturday.
The situation, experts said, isn’t likely to improve soon.
Air India said it wouldn’t operate flights to Europe, the US and Canada for 48 hours. Its flights from the US to Europe and India are delayed indefinitely.
Jet and Kingfisher cancelled all Europe and US-bound flights for Friday but didn’t announce Saturday schedules.
British Airways, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic and Air France cancelled flights. Fliers have been advised to call the airlines and get updates from websites.
“More than 10,000 people fly daily to Europe and America from India. This means a combined loss of Rs 20 crore for airlines on a daily basis,” said aviation expert Tulsi Kesharwani.