North German airports closed by Iceland ashcloud
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North German air traffic was grounded early Wednesday by ash from Iceland's Grimsvoetn volcano. French airports were not expected to be affected.
Berlin’s Tegel and Shoenefeld airports announced that their operations would halt at 11:00 am (0900 GMT), air safety officials said.
In Hamburg, the country's second biggest city, there had been no take-offs or landings since 6:00 am (0400 GMT), airport officials said.
In Bremen, traffic was halted at 05:00 am (0300 GMT). Service by the German flag carrier Lufthansa was cancelled until 04:00 pm (1400 GMT), while low-cost airline Ryanair had done the same until 11:00 am (0900 GMT.
German Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer told public television ARD the situation was expected to improve later in the day.
Major German airports in Frankfurt and Munich have not been affected, but Lufthansa expects to cancel about 150 flights on Wednesday to cities that lie in ash clouds' paths, a spokespersonn told the AFP news agency.
Poland and Scandinavian countries are also expected to be affected.
According the European Commission, the ash cloud was not expected to force widespread closures of European airspace and any disruption in France was expected to be marginal, at most.
Grimsvoetn, Iceland’s most active volcano, began its most violent eruption in at least a century on Saturday, barely a year after a similar eruption forced the biggest closure of
European airspace since World War II.
Flights in and out of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland were cancelled Tuesday.
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