Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Monday, May 23, 2011

Scotland Cancels 36 flights tomorrow: Warning as ash cloud from Iceland volcano 'will drift over UK in hours' - 23rd May 2011

A Scottish airline has cancelled 36 flights tomorrow as the ash cloud billowing from a volanco in Iceland approaches UK airspace.

Regional carrier Loganair, which flies out of Glasgow, announced that there would be no flights following a Civil Aviation Authority warning that disruption could not be ruled out.

The Met Office is predicting the plume of ash from the Grimsvotn volcano will begin to drift over parts of Scotland in the next few hours and would cover all of Ireland, Scotland and parts of northern Britain by 6am tomorrow.

Asked whether this would cause some disruption to flights, a CAA spokesman said: 'That's the way it's looking certainly at the moment.'

William Hague, however, has said he does not predict the volcano will not cause the chaos seen a year ago. The Foreign Secretary has said that Britain has more information on how ash clouds move and is less likely to have to enforce a blanket flight ban.

Last April airports across the UK were shut down for five days. With school half-term holidays next week any disruption to UK airports would cause chaos for hundreds of thousands of families.

Europe's air traffic control organisation has said that if volcanic emissions continued at the same rate then the cloud might reach west French airspace and north Spain on Thursday.

Authorities have backed more relaxed rules on flying through ash after being criticised for being too strict last time.

Then, closing European air space forced the cancellation of 100,000 flights, disrupted 10 million passengers and cost the industry an estimated $1.7 billion in lost revenues.

'I think the regulators are a bit more sensible than they were last year,' Michael O'Leary, chief of budget airline Ryanair, told a conference call. "We would be cautiously optimistic that they won't balls it up again this year.'

Nevertheless, airline shares fell between 3 to 5 percent.

Iceland’s airports were closed and domestic flights cancelled yesterday as a spectacular 12-mile high mushroom cloud of ash, steam and smoke filled the sky. Read More