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Bulgaria's Sofia, Plovdiv Airports Open Temporarily

Date: 19.04.2010

Travelers wait following the cancellation flights to northern Europe at Fiumicino airport in Rome, Italy

The airports in Sofia and Plovdiv are temporarily open for flights, after the Bulgarian Air Traffic control made an analysis of the volcanic ash cloud hovering over the country.

The Airports opened at 14:00, with the air space up to 8000 meters open from 12:30. This is expected to be only temporary as the ash cloud is expected to cause more delays later in the day, the Executive Director of Bulgaria’s Air Traffic Department, Georgi Angelov, reported. The other airports in the country remain closed.

Sofia Airport Director, Plamen Stanchev, said that since the air space all over Bulgaria was closed at 09:00 until 12:30, 58 flights had been canceled, with the only flights leaving for European destinations on Sunday so far traveling to Madrid and Rome.

Millions of stranded travellers face further air chaos across Europe Sunday as the volcanic ash from Iceland that has closed most of Europe's airspace continues to spread.

An estimated three-quarters of flights were cancelled on Saturday. About 20 countries closed their airspace - some have extended flight bans into Monday.

Disruption is now said to be greater than that after 9/11 and the volcanic activity shows no sign of abating.

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