The airport announced the cancellation of all flights departing and arriving from Sicily’s Catania Airport on Monday, until 8 pm, due to the eruption of Mount Etna, whose ashes fell into the airspace.
“Due to the volcanic activity of Mount Etna and the fall of volcanic ash, flight operations have been suspended until 8pm” (6pm GMT), the airport management company said on its website from Catania.
Earlier in the day, it said that departing and arriving flights were only canceled until 11am GMT, and asked passengers to check with their airline for more information.
At the same time, the mayor of Catania Enrico Tarantino signed a decree that “forbids for the next 48 hours the circulation of two-wheeled vehicles, bicycles and motorcycles, since many areas of the city are covered with a layer of volcanic ash,” the municipality said on its website.
Etna, with its peak at 3324 metres, is the highest active volcano in Europe. It has erupted frequently over the past 500,000 years.
Last year, about 10 million passengers passed through Catania International Airport, which serves the eastern part of Sicily, one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations.
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