European airlines want airspace opened

2010-04-18 16:51

Paris - Air France says it's safely carried out a test flight over France for the first time since a volcanic ash plume shut down aviation over Europe.

The plane travelled from Charles de Gaulle airport to Toulouse in southern France. Another test flight is under way in southwest France, it said, and three more will follow, for a total of five test flights on Sunday.

The airline added that it aimed to operate seven long-distance flights from southern airports in Toulouse and Pau on Monday, weather conditions permitting.

The flights under consideration were for Fort de France, New York, Dakar, Saint Denis de la Reunion, Hong Kong, Sao Paolo and Dubai.

European airlines are pushing national regulators to reopen airspace across Europe, saying the ash appears to have diminished enough to make flying safe.

Dutch airline KLM said it safely flew aircraft without passengers through a window in the cloud of volcanic ash over Europe on Sunday, and pressed for an end to the total ban on commercial air traffic that has paralysed travel across the continent.