Saturday

7th Dec 2019

Ash grounds flights in eight European countries

In a warning that Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano has not finished with Europe yet, flights were cancelled on Sunday in nine countries across the continent.

Though causing nowhere near the level of of disruption after the volcano first erupted, some 500 flights were grounded in Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

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  • The Icelandic volcano continues to belch ash into the air (Photo: Orvaratli)

The grounding, which follows on from a powerful eruption on Thursday, pales in comparison to the 100,000 flights that were disrupted for five days in April and air traffic was expected to return to normal within 24 hours.

However, Britain's Met Office said that ash blowing winds could still continue for another two or three days, suggesting that further groundings may occur later in the week.

Transatlantic flights that were not grounded nonetheless were forced to add multiple hours to their journeys as they were diverted both north and south around the cloud.

EU air traffic control agency Eurocontrol told airlines to carry additional fuel in case of such diversions.

Meteorologists warn that the volcano is likely to continue to disrupt European flights as long as it continues to hurl ash into the air and prevailing winds push the ash clouds over the continent.

The last time Eyjafjallajokul erupted, in 1821, it continued to belch out its angry discharges until 1823.

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