Europe flights scrapped due to Iceland ash cloud

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Europe flights scrapped due to Iceland ash cloud

The volcanic ash clouds in Europe have forced the cancellations of most flights to and from Europe at Incheon International Airport for four days straight. According to the Incheon International Airport Corporation, 41 flights out of 54 scheduled to leave for or arrive from Europe were canceled yesterday.

On Saturday, Korean Prime Minister Chung Un-chan called off his trip to Poland to attend the state funeral of the late Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife because of the closure of European airports following the eruption of a glacial volcano in Iceland, according to the prime minister’s office.

U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all canceled plans to attend the funeral.

Korea’s ambassador to Poland, Lee Joon-jae, represented Korea during the funeral services.

On Saturday, 33 flights to and from Europe were canceled following 16 cancellations Friday. Over four days, Korean Air canceled 23 flights while Asiana Airlines canceled 8.

Nearly 200 foreigners with tickets to Europe waited at Incheon International Airport terminals.

Meanwhile, the Korea Meteorological Administration said the volcanic ash clouds might spread near the Korean Peninsula as early as tomorrow or Wednesday. “At the moment, we expect the ash clouds to pass through Manchuria and North Korea,” said Hang Hyeon-sik, a weather forecaster at the KMA. “Depending on the air current, there is a possibility that it will pass through South Korea.”


By Cho Jae-eun, Kang Chan-su [jainnie@joongang.co.kr]

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