Europe Begins Reopening Airspace

With losses by airlines now breaching the billion-dollar mark, European aviation authorities have began granting permission to fly for carriers affected by the thick ash cloud caused by the explosion of an Icelandic volcano. The German aviation authority has given the green light to some 50 Lufthansa flights.

The 50 flights will bring home to Germany around 15,000 passengers who have been stranded  at airports and cities across the globe since Wednesday last week, when the volcanic ash cloud compelled authorities to ban air travel for safety reasons. Lufthansa spokesman Jan Baerwald said flights coming from the Far East will be the first to fly out of their destinations by invoking what is called visual flight rules, which allows pilots to fly without relying on instruments as long as pilots could see landmarks and approaching planes.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom said it would begin lifting the no-fly-zone order across Scotish airspace beginning on Tuesday morning, paving the way for the reopening of airports across Britain.