Sunday, 9 May 2010

Volcanic Ash closes airports in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland and France

According to online reports on the 8th and 9th May European air traffic faces growing disruption again, with a cloud of ash spewing from an Icelandic volcano affecting flights in Spain, France and Portugal.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled on Saturday, while many trans-Atlantic services were delayed as they skirted the plume of debris from the Eyjafjoell volcano in Iceland, which plunged air travel across the continent into chaos last month.

The volcano began erupting on April 14 and caused travel chaos, with airspaces closed over several European nations for a week because of fears that aircraft engines would be damaged with fatal consequences.

It was the biggest aerial shutdown in Europe since World War II, with more than 100,000 flights cancelled and eight million passengers affected. The airline industry said it lost about 2.5 billion euros

Spain shut down 19 airports because of the ash cloud, including Barcelona, the country's second biggest airport and that is closest to the Spanish Grand Prix circuit at Circuit de Catalunya,
In Portugal, 104 flights serving Lisbon, Oporto and Faro were cancelled on Saturday, hitting mainly low-cost airlines, airport officials and websites said.

In France, the national weather service said the ash cloud would be covering the southern part of the country by late Saturday, with concentrations rising to 6,000 metres.

Meteo France official Roxane Desire could not predict if the ash would disperse before Wednesday 12th May opening of the Cannes film festival, when private jets in particular throng Riviera airports.

Easyjet announced on their website at 9.00 on Sunday 9th May that “Due to the ongoing volcanic eruption in Iceland, there will be further disruption to flights operating to and from Switzerland, Southern and Central France, Northern Italy and Northern Portugal on Sunday 9 May 2010. We therefore strongly advise all passengers who are booked to travel with easyJet on flights to and from Switzerland, Southern and Central France, Northern Italy and Northern Portugal tomorrow (Sunday 9 May) to to check your flight status at before travelling to the airport.”

British Airways placed this message on their website at 9.35 on the 9th May. “Volcanic ash levels over Europe may result in flight disruption. Currently our Italian services are most likely to be affected.”

It looks like this problem is not going to go away for a while and travelers should make sure they have adequate travel insurance.

You can find a list of travel insurance providers at the website by following this link. Do make sure before you purchase that the policy will cover you in the event of flight disruption.


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Ayala Land said...

Horrific event. One can never tell when mother nature feels like blowing off some steam - literally.

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property for sale in portugal said...

Great article.

Is this issue still ongoing or has activity paused?