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About 84% of U.S. flights to Europe canceled

2010-04-18 09:17 BJT

WASHINGTON, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Up to 84 percent of U.S. flights to Europe remain canceled Saturday as ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano continues to blow across the continent, authorities said.

U.S.-based carriers operate about 337 passenger and cargo flights between the United States and Europe each day. On Saturday, 282 of those flights were canceled, officials of the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) said.

Most airlines had stopped flights for a third consecutive day on Saturday, as the ash cloud from the volcanic eruption under Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier continues to cause one of the worst travel disruptions in world history.

Commercial flights were not the only ones affected by the hazardous conditions. U.S. President Barack Obama canceled plans to fly to Poland for Sunday's funeral of late Polish president Lech Kaczynski.

"This is significant. It's disruptive to the carriers' ability to operate their flights," ATA vice president of communications David Castelveter said.

It is expected that many of the U.S. flights would remain canceled through Sunday.

The International Air Transport Association, which represents 230 airlines operating 93 percent of global air trade traffic, said Friday the shutdown costs the industry about 200 million dollars each day.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: Xinhua