Eyjafjallajokull is the one unpronounceable name almost everyone in the world recognizes by now. For weeks the volcano in Iceland has been spewing out a thick ash plume that has air commuters cursing. The rock particles in the plume jam up airplane motors, making flying during an ash event a distinctly bad idea.
Britain’s air traffic control body said on Monday it had agreed the creation of a new flying zone with Irish officials and aircraft manufacturers to limit the disruption caused by ash emitted by an Icelandic volcano.
Volcanic ash from Iceland caused widespread disruption at airports in Britain and other parts of northern Europe on Monday, delaying or grounding hundreds of flights.
Ash spewing from an Icelandic volcano prompted flight cancellations in parts of Europe again on Sunday.
Eurocontrol, the agency that manages European air travel, expects 24,500 flights on Sunday — about 500 below average for a Sunday at this time of year.
BRUSSELS – European airports sent thousands of planes into the sky Thursday after a week of unprecedented disruptions, but shifting winds sent a new plume of volcanic ash over Scandinavia, forcing some airports in Norway and Sweden to close again.
The new airspace restrictions applied to northern Scotland and parts of southern Norway, Sweden and Finland, said Kyla Evans, spokeswoman for Eurocontrol, the European air traffic agency.
BERLIN – Airlines lost at least $1.7 billion in revenue during the volcanic ash crisis, an industry group said Wednesday as the debate heated up over whether European governments were justified in shutting down their airspace for so long.
Planes were flying into all of Europe’s top airports – London’s Heathrow, Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Germany’s hub at Frankfurt. Still experts predicted it could take days – even more than a week – to clear a backlog of stranded passengers after about 102,000 flights were canceled around the world.
While the commercial air transport world has been all but stopped in the European airspace, the U.S. military has managed to continue resupply operations and medical evacuation flights by redeploying aircraft ahead of the spreading volcanic ash.
AMSTERDAM — Dutch airline KLM said it safely flew aircraft without passengers through a window in the cloud of volcanic ash over Europe Sunday, and pressed for an end to the total ban on commercial air traffic that Source has paralyzed travel across the continent.
Other airlines including Lufthansa and Air France said they, too, were conducting test flights. Authorities, however, extended airspace restrictions across Europe and said there was no end in sight to the plume spewing out of a volcano in Iceland, which they insist is dangerous to planes.
Millions of air travellers are stranded as thousands of flights are being cancelled for a third day. Many countries and airlines have grounded fleets as the ash – a mixture of glass, sand and rock particles, drifting from 5,000ft (1,500m) – can seriously damage aircraft engines.
The disruption from the spread of ash would continue into Sunday, European aviation agency Eurocontrol said.
The volcanic ash cloud is starting to cause serious economic problems for some airlines and food importers and even postal deliveries.