Aviation industry blasts EU govts for lockdowns | world | Hindustan Times
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Aviation industry blasts EU govts for lockdowns

world Updated: Apr 19, 2010 16:14 IST

The aviation industry sharply criticized European governments on Monday for their handling of airport closures, saying there was "no coordination and no leadership" in the volcanic ash crisis that shut down European airports for a fifth straight day. Some smaller airports reopened, and European officials had hoped that flights could return to about 50 per cent of normal on Monday if the skies were clearing.

But authorities in Britain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands - home to three of Europe's largest airports - said their air space was still closed. Britain said it was keeping flight restrictions on through until at least early on Tuesday, while Italy briefly lifted restrictions in the north then quickly closed again on Monday after conditions worsened.

Austrian authorities reopened the country's airspace, though many flights there remain cancelled, and Stockholm's Arlanda Airport was reopening for limited air traffic. Finland opened its Tampere and Turku airports but kept its main airport in Helsinki shut, and most Norwegian airspace reopened on Sunday evening.

The International Air Transport Association says the airport lockdowns are costing the aviation industry at least $200 million a day and affecting millions of travelers since the volcano in Iceland begun erupting on Wednesday.