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In this file photo from June 6, 2011, an Air France A380 lands at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia. / Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY

An Air France A380 flying from Shanghai to Paris had to divert to Hamburg early Wednesday morning because of an airspace closure related to the launch of a Russian spacecraft, The Associated Press reports.

Air France said Flight 111 made the stop in Hamburg early Wednesday to refuel after it had to take a longer-than-expected route to avoid airspace restrictions. Reuters says the launch of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft prompted the closure of airspace over Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan "for at least 30 minutes."

Air France Flight 111 was carrying 495 passengers and 22 crew, according to AP. The A380 is the world's largest commercial passenger aircraft. Air France's A380s seat 538 passengers.

Officials at Hamburg's airport confirmed to AP that the Air France superjumbo jet landed there around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. The flight continued on its way to Paris after refueling, taking off about 90 minutes after landing. It arrived in Paris about three hours behind schedule.

"Hamburg was a good option because it is an airport the right size to accommodate an A380," a spokesman for Air France-KLM told Agence France-Press.

Air France spokeswoman Ulli Gendrot confirmed to AP that the airspace closure resulted from the launch of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. AP notes "the Soyuz booster rocket lifted off as scheduled at 3:17 a.m. local time Wednesday from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan."

The Soyuz rocket was transporting three astronauts ?? two Russians and one American ?? to the space station.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Air France A380 diverts to Germany because of space launch

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