Barcelona and Ibiza airports were among those impacted by the grounding, which lasted around 40 minutes on Friday.

The decision came after China sent its powerful Long March 5B rocket to deliver the final module of its Tiangong space station.

A remnant of the rocket is now making an uncontrolled re-entry. Most of the remnant was expected to burn up during its descent.

But there is some concern some of the remnant - described as one of the largest objects to re-enter the atmosphere in recent years by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency - may survive.

In May 2020, properties in Ivory Coast were damaged when debris from the rocket's first launch came back down to Earth.

The European Union Space Surveillance and Tracking service has said on its website that the "statistical probability of an impact on the ground in populated areas is low", with the remnant expected to land somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

However, it warned southern Italy, as well as northern Spain and Portugal were also in the debris' trajectory.

As a precaution, Spain's national airspace agency established an 100km (62 mile) wide exclusion zone on either side of the falling rocket's orbit.