Scottish flights cancelled as volcano cloud creeps south

Scottish flights cancelled as volcano cloud creeps south

Air passengers face disruption this week as a volcanic ash cloud from Iceland passes over European air space. It is just over a year since the skies above Europe were closed due to an ash cloud from the Icelandic Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which forced aviation regulators to close 80% of European airspace during the Easter holiday in 2010.

The new cloud was formed when the Grimsvotn volcano erupted on Sunday, sending ash and ice as high as 12 miles into the air. However, the ash particles from this eruption are said to be larger than last year and, as a result, fall to the ground more quickly.

Flights to and from Iceland have already been suspended, and at the time of writing (11pm Monday), the confirmed cancellations were as follows:

* BA cancelled all flights between London and Scotland until 2pm Tuesday. Around 30 to 40 flights will be affected.
* Royal Dutch Airlines KLM cancelled the 16 flights scheduled for Tuesday morning to and from Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle
* Loganair has cancelled 38 flights with only inter-island routes in Orkney unaffected.
*Eastern Airways has cancelled almost 50 flights.
* Easyjet has cancelled flights to Scottish routes between 5am and 9am BST

It is not expected that the cloud will reach southern UK airports tomorrow, though officials said weather conditions and strong winds made it difficult to predict the cloud’s movements. All travellers are recommended to check the latest status with their airline before starting your journey.

Speaking in Brussells, Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “I think we are far better prepared and we’ll have far better information and intelligence which allows us to adjust things without necessarily the blanket bans on flights which we saw last year, but of course it depends on how the situation develops.”

All passengers were advised to check with their tour operator or airline before travelling, and to check whether disruption to their trip would be covered by ATOL or their insurance policy.

President Obama was forced to cut short his visit to Ireland on Monday and fly to London a day early to avoid the ash cloud which is heading towards Northern Ireland and could also later affect flights from the Republic.

In April 2010 the skies above the UK were shut down for six days. Since then a major overhaul of safety procedures means it is much more likely that flights could continue to take off and land in similar conditions.

2010: The volcano that shut Britain

Travel advice: useful links

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