Volcanic ash cloud causes renewed havoc at European airports

EUROPE. The aviation industry is facing up to more disruption caused by ash from the erupting Mount Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland.

Many of the airports in the north of Italy are closed, while airports in Portugal, France, Switzerland, UK and Ireland are also affected. Some transatlantic flights have been cancelled while some airlines have re-routed to avoid the 2,000km long ash cloud, which is hovering over the Atlantic Ocean.

The Eyjafjallajökull ash cloud is causing renewed problems for airports and airlines across Europe

In the UK, Easyjet has cancelled flights scheduled for Sunday morning from Gatwick to Rome, Lyon, Milan and Nice; from Luton to Pisa, Geneva, Nice, Lisbon and Belfast; and from Edinburgh to Lisbon, Milan and Stansted.

Ryanair has cancelled flights to and from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands. On Saturday the airline cancelled flights to Spain and the Canary Islands, Portugal and France.

In Ireland, the major international airports are open, though there are restrictions planned for later on Sunday, notably on the west coast.

Commenting on the fast-changing situation, the Irish Aviation Authority said this morning: “The volcano is still moderately active and by late Sunday, due to an expected change in wind direction, there is the risk that the plume may drift again over Irish airspace, and may affect Irish airports, especially on the west coast.

“The past number of days has seen the growth of a large cloud of high ash concentration off the west coast of Ireland, and this has caused difficulty for some transatlantic operations. The cloud has drifted west, but has adopted a crescent pattern in an arc that runs from Northern Spain to Northern Scotland. This has caused some disruptions to flights to Northern Spain and other parts of the Iberian peninsula.”

Food & Beverage The Magazine eZine