After Iceland volcano, airspace gradually reopens

Sweden and Norway gradually reopened airspace on Friday while Denmark and Finland remained closed because of the ash cloud from the Iceland volcano.

Brynjar Gaudi/AP
Smoke and steam hangs over the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland on April 15. The Iceland volcano has erupted for the second time in less than a month. Volcanic ash drifting across the Atlantic has forced the thousand of flights to be canceled and airports to close.

Airspace over Sweden and Norway was gradually reopening Friday, but Denmark's and Finland's remained closed because of the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland, officials said.

On Thursday, Sweden and several other northern European countries closed their airspace.

On Friday, the civil aviation authority in Stockholm said Swedish airspace "is now reopening step by step." It said flights will resume in northern Sweden, with restrictions being lifted throughout the country gradually.

IN PICTURES: Iceland volcano

Norwegian airport operator Avinor reopened airspace over the northern half of Norway's west coast at 0700 GMT.

However, Stockholm's Arlanda Airport and Oslo's Gardermoen Airport remained closed Friday morning.

In Denmark, aviation officials said the airspace will stay closed at least through 0600 GMT Saturday.

Finland, which closed its airspace early Friday, said it would extend the measure to Sunday afternoon instead of Saturday, as earlier planned. Finnish airports operator Finavia Corp. said it expects the volcanic ash plume to remain over the country for several days.

IN PICTURES: Iceland volcano

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