Friday, April 16, 2010

Giant Ash Cloud Disrupts Flights Across Europe

An enormous plume of volcanic ash, invisible from the ground, has traveled from Iceland to northern Europe and grounded commercial air travel from Scandinavia and Britain to Belgium. Thousands of flights have been cancelled. Problems are expected through the weekend, and Germany hasn't been spared.

The Netherlands-based European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, or Eurocontrol, says the flight cancellations represent the most serious interruption of plane traffic in the history of air travel. Because of a massive ash plume from a volcano under the Iclandic glacier of Eyjafjallajökull, which erupted Wednesday, around one-quarter of all flights in Europe have been cancelled.

Some 28,000 flights depart daily from European airports. Eurocontrol estimates that air traffic will be affected for another 48 hours.

On Thursday afternoon airspace over Iceland, Great Britain, Ireland and several Scandinavian countries was fully closed. Air traffic over Belgium and the Netherlands has also been reduced and was expected to stop completely between 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Flights over the Atlantic have been re-routed to the south in order to avoid the plume.

So far German air traffic is unimpaired, according to Peter Ramsauer, Federal Minister for Transport. Closing German airspace is not expected to be necessary, and any important measures for German flights will be announced over a weather warning system.

To read more:,1518,689264,00.html

Update: They just bring on the news that the German airports Hamburg, Berlin and Frankfurt at closed and flights can not leave there, because of this Ash Cloud over Germany

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