Volcanic ash forces flight cancellations across UK
April 15th, 2010 by elisa

An ash cloud from a volcanic eruption in Iceland mean that no flights are operating across most of the UK today.

Flights from Manchester, Liverpool, Luton, Stansted, Newcastle, Birmingham, Belfast and Gatwick are amongst those affected.

British Airways cancelled all domestic services for safety reasons and Monarch flights from Luton and Gatwick were also affected. 150 flights were cancelled from Heathrow and 138 from Gatwick.

Flight restrictions were imposed by the Air Traffic Control Service (NATS) after the Met Office warned ash could damage engines.

Passengers are being advised to contact their airlines before travelling.

NATS said it was restricting flights “in accordance with international civil aviation policy”.

A NATS spokesman was quoted as saying: “The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre has issued a forecast that the ash cloud from the volcanic eruption in Iceland will track over Europe tonight.

“NATS is working with Eurocontrol and our colleagues in Europe’s other air navigation service providers to take the appropriate action to ensure safety in accordance with international aviation policy.”

Airports operator BAA said: “Following advice from the Met Office the National Air Traffic Service has introduced restrictions to UK airspace this morning as a result of volcanic ash drifting across the United Kingdom from Iceland.

“Passengers intending to fly today are asked to contact their airline for further information and should expect disruption in the coming hours.”

Emirates cancelled flights from Dubai to Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and Glasgow.

A spokesperson for the airline said: “Emirates passengers in transit at Dubai today are being provided with hotel accommodation.

“Passengers that are yet to depart for UK-bound destinations from other Emirates gateways across the network are being contacted through the airline’s call centres and local offices.

“The airline has set aside a dedicated check-in area at Emirates Terminal 3 Dubai to look after the requirements of passengers affected by the cancellation of its UK flights today.”

For more information and updates go to the ABTA website here.

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