Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ryanair: Michael O'Leary has claimed there was "no volcanic ash material over Scotland - 24th May 2011

The boss of Ryanair has claimed there was "no volcanic ash material over Scotland" after one of the airline's planes was flown through a "high concentration zone" and returned unaffected.

The Irish airline said an inspection of the plane found "no evidence of volcanic ash on the airframe, wings or engines".

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary told Sky News said it proved there was "no volcanic ash material over Scotland".

It comes as disruption to flights due to the volcano ash cloud spreads beyond Scotland, with delays to transatlantic services and the ash forecast to reach Heathrow later today.

Eurocontrol, the European air traffic control agency, said a total of 252 flights - mostly affecting Scottish airports - have been cancelled so far.

It said low-density ash from the Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano was expected to reach LinkLondon's largest airport by 1pm today.

Also by that time, air traffic control company Nats said ash was expected to Linkaffect other UK airports.

Services from Londonderry, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Prestwick, Newcastle, Carlisle, Durham Tees Valley and Cumbernauld may be disrupted.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond will chair a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergency team later today as part of efforts to tackle the upheaval. Read More