Centre forms a nodal centre to clear stranded Europe-bound air passengers

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New Delhi, Apr 19 (ANI): The Central Government has set up a nodal control room to facilitate smooth transition of stranded Europe-bound air passengers.

The Civil Aviation Ministry Secretary, Madhavan Nambiar, said on Monday that this nodal centre set would be manned by representatives of the operators, officials of the airports and the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

A senior government official of the rank of Joint Secretary would oversee the entire functioning of this task force, he mentioned.

"We have also set up today in the ministry of Civil aviation, a control room headed by our Joint Secretary (Prashant Shukul). We have the representatives of the airlines there; we have the representatives of the DGCA, the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) and all the other stakeholders," said Nambiar.

"So that the issues and problems could be addressed on a fast track basis," he added.

This has come as a sigh of relief for at least 41,400 passengers, who were stranded at different international airports early this morning due to suspension of flights over Europe after a cloud of ash from a volcano in Iceland spread across the continent and complaining that they were running out of money amid searing temperatures.

With an aim to reduce the number of stranded passengers, the Centre has advised the intending passengers to avoid or postpone their travel plans, unless it is of an emergency nature.

"We are also advising the passengers that because of the situation and the kind of pressure on the airlines and the airport, to defer travel unless it is absolutely essential," said Nambiar.

He also informed that due to the closure of airports, five of Air India's aircrafts are stuck at different airports across Europe.

Nambiar further said that Air India and Jet Airways have started their flights to the United States through Greece and Egypt. (ANI)

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