Wednesday, April 21, 2010

India Uses Athens To Unsnarl Volcano-Related Travel Cancellations

AWIN First Apr 20 , 2010
Neelam Mathews

Indian carriers are sending Europe-bound passengers to Athens to continue on by road to their destinations as a way to help reduce the number of passengers stranded by the April 15 volcano eruption on Iceland that closed much of Europe’s airspace.

Jet Airways has resumed U.S and Canada flights via Athens, operating four flights daily to these destinations.

About 6,000 Europe-bound passengers booked on Jet Airways and 3,000 booked with Air India were stranded in India. Air India has now resumed flights to Chicago, New York Kennedy and Newark from Mumbai and Delhi. Air India had one aircraft stranded each at London Heathrow and Frankfurt airports.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines, which operates 25 daily flights to Europe, has used Rome and Athens, and a special flight to Barcelona took off on April 19.

Air India said, “Indications have been received that Heathrow Airport may get operational for limited hours from tonight, in which case, Air India will start Europe operations depending upon the availability.”

Malaysia Airlines will also have additional flights to Rome for passengers whose flights to other European destinations have been cancelled. The airline said in a statement it would put up three flights a week, though passengers who take up this option will be responsible for travel to their final destination from Rome.

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