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Will Lack Of London Flights Threaten Book Fair Attendance?

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NEW YORK — Some book publishing officials have given up on attending next week's London Book Fair because of the volcanic ash from Iceland that has shut down major airports throughout Europe.

But organizers said Friday that the three-day gathering will proceed.

"Our view is that the show must and will go on, and we will provide all the help we can to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible," fair director Alistair Bradshaw said in a statement posted Friday on the bookseller event's Web site.

"We know that many international exhibitors and visitors have already arrived and those traveling from Europe are finding alternative transport. Our substantial UK attendees remain unaffected."

The fair, a key opportunity for making international deals, is scheduled to begin Monday with thousands attending from around the world. But British aviation authorities have extended a ban on flights over England and Wales until at least Saturday morning.

With some key executives unable to attend, Penguin Group CEO John Makinson announced Friday that the publisher had rescheduled a planned breakfast for next week to "some point later in the year."

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