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Flight cancellations cause misery accross Europe

Sat 17th Apr 2010

The volcanic ash cloud from Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull glacial region is continuing to cause severe disruption to air traffic across Northern Europe. Latest news is that this disruption will continue till Sunday, with Ryanair in particular cancelling all flights until at least 13.00 hrs on Monday.

Almost all of European airspace remains closed with only a few carriers still operating on partial services - mainly in Southern Europe. Some aircraft took off from USA last night but had to turn back after Scottish airspace was again shut down.

Based on the latest information from the Met Office, the National Air Traffic control service advises that the restrictions currently in place across UK controlled airspace will remain in place until at least 0100 (UK time) tomorrow, Sunday 18 April.

A spokesperson for the Air Traffic Control Service gave a statement - "We are looking for opportunities when the ash cloud moves sufficiently for us to make some airspace available within Scotland and Northern Ireland, which may enable some domestic flights to operate under individual coordination with ATC… We will be coordinating this closely with airlines and airports. It is most unlikely that many flights will operate today and anyone hoping to travel should contact their airline before travelling to the airport."

They continued - "We will continue to monitor Met Office information and review our arrangements in line with that. We will advise further arrangements at approximately 1500 (UK time).

With over 18'000 European flights cancelled on Friday alone, it is expected that it could take days, if not weeks, for the airlines to catch up with the backlog that is expected.

On the other hand both P&O Ferries and Brittany Ferries along with Eurotunnel are experiencing an unprecedented demand for their services over the next few days as thousands of travelers are seeking an alternative mode of transport.

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