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Several flights from LAX to Europe canceled because of volcanic ash

April 15, 2010 |  9:52 am

Several flights from Los Angeles International Airport to Europe were grounded Thursday because of ash from a volcano in Iceland that has stopped air traffic across a wide swath of northern Europe.

According to officials at LAX, two British Airways flights bound for London were canceled Thursday and cancellations were expected for Air New Zealand and Lufthansa flights.

American Airlines canceled its Thursday evening flight to London’s Heathrow Airport, according to Tim Smith, a spokesman based at the airline’s headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.

The flight, scheduled to depart at 7.50 p.m. and arrive in London on Friday, would have been full, carrying 247 passengers, Smith said. He said London’s Heathrow was scheduled to reopen at 7 a.m. Friday, but the schedule was “subject to review.”

“We really don’t know,” Smith said.

The American Airlines flight that left LAX for London on Wednesday night arrived at Heathrow on Thursday morning “with no trouble,”  he said.

The airline was able to get 15 flights throughout its system into London prior to the airport’s closure, Smith said.

United Airlines canceled one flight headed to Heathrow from LAX, said Robin Urbanski Janikowski, a spokeswoman for the airline. She was unable to say how many passengers had been affected or when United flights to London from LAX might resume.

Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded across Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia when several airports shut down because of ash from the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull, which erupted Wednesday for the second time in less than a month.

“Passengers are advised to check with their airlines if they are departing on flights to Europe,” said LAX spokeswoman Katherine Alvarado.

-- Ann M. Simmons