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Switzerland extends air travel ban due to threat of volcanic ash

2010-04-19 14:44 BJT

GENEVA, April 18 (Xinhua) -- The Swiss aviation authorities have extended a ban for commercial air travel as a cloud of volcano ash from Iceland continues to hang over much of Europe, the official Swissinfo.ch news website reported on Sunday.

The Swiss airspace will remain closed until Monday afternoon for safety reasons, the Federal Civil Aviation Office was quoted by the website as saying.

The office added that it would re-assess the situation at the beginning of the week.

Switzerland first announced the closure of its airspace on Friday, and since then more than 1,500 flights had to be canceled at the country's main airport in Zurich.

Many other European countries have also closed their airspace for safety reasons, stranding millions of travelers.

The measure was taken after the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier started spewing ash high into the atmosphere on Wednesday.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: Xinhua