Italy’s Catania Airport Reopens After Etna Volcano Explosion

Italy's Catania Airport Reopens After Etna Volcano Explosion

The airport in Catania has reopened after being forced to close by a volcanic explosion.

After Mount Etna erupted on Sunday evening, travel to and from Sicily was severely interrupted. 

Many of the flights into and out of Catania were canceled. The airport had hoped to reopen at 8 p.m. on Monday, but it didn’t open until 6 a.m. on August 15.

The most active volcano in Europe, Etna, has increased from warning level F0 to F1 and entered a “pre-alert” phase, according to Italian authorities.

The departures and arrivals boards at Catania Airport indicated that 95% of Monday’s flights were canceled.

Nevertheless, some flights still landed or were diverted to other Sicilian airports.

Due to the size of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean, there are numerous airports.

The island’s east coast is home to the airports of Catania and Comiso. The largest airport on the island, Palermo, is located on the west coast. The trip from Catania to the airport in Palermo takes four to five hours.

Additionally, a few planes were being rerouted to Trapani airport, which is located four hours away from Catania. 

On August 14, Ryanair issued a “possible delays, diversion, or cancellations to flights” warning to all passengers flying to or from Catania. The low-cost airline promised to notify impacted passengers as quickly as feasible.

The primary airline operating flights from the UK to Catania is EasyJet. Flights to Catania from Bristol, Edinburgh, and Gatwick had to be canceled. Some planes were being diverted to Comiso airport, which is two hours away from Catania airport..

Numerous other flights from all over Europe to Catania were also canceled.

Flights at Comiso airport, located about 150 kilometers from Mount Etna, were delayed Monday morning due to the eruption. To avoid the ash cloud from the eruption that has spread over Sicily, air traffic was also diverted towards the island of Malta.

Since the planes affected by the eruption were either severely delayed or canceled, passengers were entitled to reasonable accommodations and meals.

A sudden continuation of cancellations, delays, and disruptions is possible, particularly if there are additional eruptions.

Catania was reopened just a few days ago after a major fire broke out in one of the terminals in mid-July..

Numerous travelers decided to cancel their vacations altogether due to the fire, which led to the cancelation or rerouting of thousands of flights.

Airport authorities have come under fire for their hesitant and ill-considered response, and hoteliers have claimed that the travel disruption has cost them 40,000 nights of revenue.