Apr 15, 2010

Volcanic ash turns northern Europe into no-fly zone

Astronaut photo of ash cloud from Mount Clevel...

Image via Wikipedia

A huge ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano turned northern Europe into a no-fly zone on Thursday, leaving hundreds of thousands of passengers stranded.

The European air safety organisation said the disruption, the biggest seen in the region, could last another two days and a leading volcano expert said the ash could present intermittent problems to air traffic for 6 months if the eruption continued.

Even if the disruption, which has also affected transatlantic flights, is short lived, the financial impact on airlines could be significant, a consultant said.

The International Air Transport Association had said only days ago airlines were slowly coming out of recession.

The volcano began erupting on Wednesday for the second time in a month from below the Eyjafjallajokull glacier. It hurled a plume of ash six to 11 kilometres (3.8 to 7 miles) into the atmosphere, and this spread south east overnight.


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