Agence France Presse
MADRID: A volcanic ash cloud from Iceland forced the shutdown today of airports for the first time in north Africa and in the Canaries and southern Spain, as it drifted as far as Turkish airspace.
While most European air travel was “close to normal” today, the continent’s air traffic agency Eurocontrol said, restrictions and airport closings caused flight cancellations as winds pushed volcanic ash in the atmosphere into some new territory.
Eight airports on Morocco’s north and west coasts, including Rabat and Casablanca, were shut down, the first time the cloud of ash that has caused air traffic chaos in Europe over the past month has affected north Africa’s airspace.
Casablanca — the hub of operations for Royal Air Maroc — was to cease operations until 1800 GMT, together with the smaller airport in the capital Rabat, the transportation ministry said in a statement.