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Emirates cancels flights amid Eritrea ash cloud

Airline confirms disruption on Ethiopia route as ash cloud spreads.
NEWS, Aviation

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Dubai's Emirates Airline was among carriers forced to cancel flights on Tuesday as a volcano in Eritrea erupted for a third day.

Emirates said in a statement that flights EK723 and EK724 transiting into Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital city, had been cancelled.

"Emirates continues to monitor the situation closely, and is liaising with the relevant authorities regarding the movement of the volcanic ash cloud," its website said.

Lufthansa said that it had cancelled flights to Addis Ababa and on Tuesday while Egyptair said the ash cloud was also affecting its services to Addis Ababa and Asmara.

Royal Jordanian Airlines chief executive Hussein Dabbas said that no flights had yet been cancelled but the airline was closely watching the ash cloud's progress in case it had to suspend services, particularly to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

The volcano in Eritrea erupted for a third day on Tuesday but with reduced intensity,with its ash cloud spreading out over Sudan and toward Saudi Arabia.

The Nabro volcano began belching plumes of ash at about midnight on Sunday after a string of earthquakes.

Ethiopian Airlines officials told Reuters they had cancelled flights to the Sudanese capital Khartoum, neighbouring Djibouti, as well as several domestic flights to Ethiopia's north.

Satellite images on the France-based Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre's (VAAC) website showed the cloud heading toward Saudi Arabia.

Not known to have previously erupted, Nabro burst into life after a string of earthquakes, the biggest of which measured 5.7, according to the US Geographical Survey. VAAC said the initial eruption threw an ash cloud 13.5 km (8.4 miles) high.

Authorities in Ethiopia and Eritrea reported no casualties around the volcano.
 

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