Flight operations at Catania airport, located on the southern Italian island of Sicily, are currently experiencing significant disruptions following damage to one of its terminals caused by a fire.
On Sunday night, a blaze occurred at Vincenzo Bellini International Airport in Catania. Firefighters were promptly dispatched to extinguish the fire, and as a precautionary measure, the airport was evacuated.
No injuries have been reported so far, although there are accounts of individuals receiving treatment for smoke inhalation and shock.
Fire causes ongoing delays at airport in Italy
ItaliaRimborso, a source of information on flight-related matters, indicates that the airport facilitates travel to a total of 91 destinations, with 24 of them being domestic routes.
Yesterday, airport authorities announced the suspension of flights until Wednesday at 2 pm, which was expected to affect approximately 120,000 passengers.
However, the airport has managed to restore operations earlier than anticipated. As of Tuesday morning, two flights are departing per hour, indicating a faster recovery.
Comiso airport, located about two hours away by car from Catania airport, is situated on the east side of the island. On the other hand, Palermo and Trapani airports are located on the west side of the island, requiring a four to five-hour drive from Catania.
To assist affected passengers, complimentary train and bus services are being provided between Catania airport and the airports where flights are being diverted (such as Palermo, Comiso, and Trapani). Detailed information regarding this transportation arrangement is being communicated to passengers at the airports and through announcements on incoming and outgoing flights.
Fires in Southern Europe
While the specific cause of the fire at Catania Airport has not been disclosed, wildfires have been spreading across Spain, Italy, and Greece during the peak of the summer season. These devastating fires have led to the evacuation of thousands of people and the unfortunate destruction of several homes.
In Greece, the first fire broke out at Kouvaras, southeast of Athens, and moved really fast, spanning 12 km. More than 200 firemen assisted by 20 soldiers, 68 fire engines, 10 aircraft, and six helicopters were fighting the flames. On Tuesday the fire has been largely contained but fears of possible reignitions are keeping the fire service on alert. In about 2 hours, aided by high winds, the fire reached popular coastal resorts such as Lagonisi and Saronida damaging several homes.
The second fire, which was described by the fire service as the most difficult, burnt in a forest at Dervenoxoria, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of Athens. 105 firefighters with 3 ground teams and 30 fire engines operated on the land assisted by 7 airplanes and 4 helicopters.