Slovakia’s airspace was completely reopened on Monday afternoon, April 19 the TASR newswire reported.
“As of 14.40 the airspace in western Slovakia has been reopened,” informed Bratislava Airport spokesperson Dana Madunická. But Slovakia’s airspace is reopened only temporarily for the next 36 hours, TASR was told by Transport Ministry spokesman Stanislav Jurikovič.
Only Slovak aviation authorities are authorised to grant individual flight permits and then it is up to airlines, or flight captains, if they decide to make flights, said Jurikovič, adding that the airlines and their crews are strongly recommended to reconsider the flight if there is a risk of hitting a volcanic ash cloud.
Most flights scheduled for Tuesday are reported to be cancelled. Ryanair, which operates the majority of flights to and from Bratislava, said their flights would be cancelled until Wednesday at 13:00, affecting regular connections to destinations in Great Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, as well as in the north of France and Germany.
Problems surrounding air traffic over the past few days directly affected several thousand Slovak citizens who were abroad when the airspace over most of Europe was closed due to the volcanic ash cloud moving across the continent, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Peter Stano said, adding that around 60 Slovak citizens have asked for help or advice since Friday.
Slovaks are stranded in airports all across Europe, plus in Egypt and Kenya. Especially those calling from Kenya’s capital Nairobi are reported to have been provided immediate assistance. Some 60 Slovak public officials on business trips in Brussels, Copenhagen, Paris and Madrid could not fly back to Slovakia and the Slovak national water polo team had to remain in Greece.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
20. Apr 2010 at 10:00