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Iceland Volcano Update: Flights Are Resuming, Expect Delays

May 25, 2011 By: Deanna Ting


The latest image from space of the Grimsvotn volcano eruption. // (c) 2011 NASA

Various news sources, including The New York Times, have noted that the ash cloud from the erupting Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland has moved out of UK and German airspace.

As the cloud moved south toward northern Germany on Wednesday, May 25, however, it continued to wreak havoc across European airports in the form of flight cancelations and delays. On Tuesday, approximately 500 European flights to Norway, Denmark and the UK were canceled due to the volcanic eruption.

Today, air traffic over northern Germany was halted but has since resumed with landings and takeoffs taking place at Hamburg, Bremen and Berlin. Even though flights have resumed, however, airlines are warning passengers to expect delays.

Brussels-based air traffic management company, Eurocontrol, estimated that less than 1,000 flights out of 29,000 scheduled flights were canceled on Wednesday.

Air traffic over the UK, which was shut down on Tuesday, has also since resumed. French aviation authorities do not anticipate having to close any airspace and anticipate few disruptions.

One bright spot with regard to the eruption is that meteorologists are reporting that the volcano is now erupting steam and not ash. Still, aviation and transportation experts are keeping a close eye on the volcano and its migrating ash cloud, worried that strong winds could potentially blow some of densest parts of the ash plume back toward Britain and northern France over the weekend.

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By Deanna Ting | May 25, 2011
As Grimsvotn’s ash cloud moves over the UK and Germany, European travelers can expect to see travel delays throughout the week.