European Airspace Closed to Traffic

European Airspace Closed to Traffic

UPDATE: Air traffic across most of northern Europe remained grounded over the weekend as the volcanic ash cloud continued to affect airlines in the UK, France (Paris airports and some 24 others in northern France will be closed until Monday), the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Scandinavia and Poland.

Some holidaymakers in Spain trying to return to destinations in the UK and northern Europe have been warned they may not get a flight for at least ten-days. The disruption to international airline schedules is said to be unprecedented.

Not since 9/11 has air traffic into and out of the UK been as severely disrupted as it has been by the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano eruption which has also grounded flights across northern Europe. There will be no flights into or out of the UK until at least 1300 Friday and possibly even later depending on the behaviour of the volcano which it still erupting and of its even more powerful and dangerous neighbour, threatening to follow suit.

Severe congestion is reported at cross channel ferry terminals and Eurostar, as travellers battle to find alternative ways in and out of France. Eurostar warns travellers not to turn up expecting to travel without a confirmed reservation.

The ash cloud is working its way south across France but presently at very high altitudes where its impact is restricted to possible damage to aircraft engines and also set to provoke some amazing sunsets.

Health Authorities say that the ash is not injurious to health.

In France, according to LaDépêche at least 25 airports, including Roissy and Orly in Paris, have been closed and some 5000 flights have been delayed or cancelled. Air France has cancelled 100 of its 1700 scheduled daily domestic and international flights. Many other northern European airports including the busy UK hub at Heathrow, and international airports in Brussels, Frankfurt and Amsterdam have been closed.

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