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Business travelers taking the long way home from Europe

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The ash spewing out of an Icelandic volcano is strangling air travel between Europe and the United States. Some of those affected were travelling for business, working for European companies with US headquarters in the Philadelphia region.

Shire Pharmaceuticals is based in England and Ireland, and has its US headquarters in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Spokesman Matt Cabrey says at the time of the eruption last Wednesday, Shire had employees in France, Spain, and England. They’re still trying to make their way back.

“There were several significant meetings taking place in Europe over the past ten days, so we actually have about 45 Shire employees who have been quote unquote stranded, if you will, in Europe, delaying their return back to the Greater Philadelphia region.”

Cabrey says the company is trying to get the workers back to the US by way of Barcelona’s international airport, which hasn’t been as affected as some others in northern Europe.

The European Union says flights could return to about 50 percent capacity soon if forecasts hold for the affected region.

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