Iceland Volcano Causes Disruptions Throughout Europe

As the eruption from Iceland's Eyjaffjalljokull volcano continued to wreak havoc on Northern Europe's airspace, planes throughout the continent remained grounded on Friday, with no clear sign of when both the eruptions and the delays would end. The BBC reports that Europe's intergovernmental air control agency, Eurocontrol, said it "expects around 11,000 flights to take place today in European airspace. On a normal day, we would expect 28,000."

Of about 300 transatlantic flights that would usually arrive in Europe in the morning, no more than 120 made it over, the agency said.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Britain kept almost all of its airspace empty through the morning, allowing only a few flights to operate out of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Authorities said most non-emergency air travel would be banned through at least 1 a.m. Saturday London time. Signs in the London Underground (pictured right) warned passengers of the situation.

Scandinavia also continued to keep most of its planes on the ground. By midday Friday, all major airports in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland were scheduled to remain shut down for the rest of the day, with only a few small airports operational in the far north. Icelandair has canceled several flights due to the volcano, and added two additional flights to Glasgow to accommodate passengers heading to the U.K. (Both are scheduled to depart at 2 p.m. GMT and will leave Glasgow at 6:05 p.m. local time.) Since the ash is blowing eastward, many Icelandair flights have operated on schedule or with slight delays including flights to/from Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and the U.S.
 

In France, the three main airports in Paris decided to allow inbound flights to land between 12 and 4 p.m. But no takeoffs were permitted, and other airports in northern France remained until at least 8 p.m. local time.

Air Berlin said in a statement that almost all German airports have been closed, and are expected to remain closed until 6 p.m.

Belgium and the Netherlands also kept their skies empty of planes.

Again, anyone planning to fly to or around Europe this weekend should check their airline's website for any information about delays or cancelations.

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