April 15th, 2010
03:38 PM ET

Volcano forces up to 6,000 flight cancellations

[Updated at 3:35 p.m.]  Some other developments:

- France closes 24 airports, including Paris Charles de Gaulle, the French civil aviation authority said Thursday.

- British airspace will be closed at least until 7 a.m. (2 a.m. ET) Friday, air traffic authorities said Thursday.

 - The U.S. Air Force says RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath in England are shut down for at least two days. That means dozens of U.S. Air Force F-15s and other fighter jets and tankers are not flying. Flights to Iraq and Afghanistan flying through that airspace are being diverted to other routes.

- Belgian airspace was partially closed at 2:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. ET), affecting the western part of the country, a spokesman for Brussels airport confirmed. At 4:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m. ET) all Belgian airspace will be closed, he said. 

- Dutch airspace is due to close at 7 p.m. (1 p.m. ET), officials at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport said.

- Danish airspace will shut at 6 p.m. (12 p.m. ET), Danish airspace agency Navair said.

- Finnish airspace is "heavily restricted" but not closed, according to Finavia, the company that oversees Finland's air navigation system.

[Updated at 3:33 p.m.]  A cloud of volcanic ash will force up to 6,000 flight cancellations across Europe Thursday, according to the intergovernmental body that manages European air travel.

[Posted at 1:01 p.m.] Americans flying to Europe on Thursday are running into delays as airlines cancel flights because of clouds of volcanic ash from Iceland which have closed airspace in parts of Europe.

Delta Air Lines has suspended service into and out of the U.K. for the rest of Thursday, spokesman Anthony Black said.

American Airlines was able to operate 15 flights into and out of the U.K. on Thursday before airspace was closed, spokesman Tim Smith said. "Aircraft encountered no ash," he said.

The airline canceled 21 flights into and out of the U.K., Smith said.

Continental Airlines canceled 32 flights Thursday, according to spokeswoman Mary Clark. The airline is allowing passengers with flights to or from more than a dozen European cities through April 18 to change their tickets once without penalty. Refunds will be offered for canceled flights.

One British Airways flight was en route to Dulles International Airport near Washington on Thursday morning, but other flights due to arrive there from the UK were canceled, said Rob Yingling, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

Other destinations connected directly to Dulles - including Amsterdam, Netherlands; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Brussels, Belgium - are likely to be affected, he said.

Filed under: Air travel • Travel • World
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Dragun

    People fail to realize that just as our sun has active and dormant cycles so does the earth. When one major tectonic plate releases its energy the effects can literally circle the globe. We are all riding on plates that are in constant motion, and they release this energy usually in the form of earthquakes, and as a reaction to that release often Magma chambers can shift and sometimes swell causing volcanoes to erupt. I would expect more in the next couple of years before it calms down again.

    April 23, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. M T

    When you are diagnosed with cancer you look for a cure, a treatment to get better. God's timing is unpredictable to us, therefore, we should be on treatment for our souls and that's it. I don't understand why people get upset when other people talk about something we know will come one day but not when. We are so used to being in control, we fear when we don't know what tomorrow will bring. The truth is, we are in control ONLY in our minds. Each of us has our date with Him but it is Him who gives out and makes the appointments....

    April 23, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. fotomedia

    The world is evolving just as it has been since the beginning of time and it will continue to take it's course. The only difference now is, the world is populated so we claim these situations as disasters rather than evolution.

    April 24, 2010 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. fotomedia

    There is no end of time, there is only evolution.

    Just like how today's fast food, junk food, video gaming, and cyber communications has evolved a new human race of an obese generation, especially in the USA.

    April 24, 2010 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Anthony

    If you think about the earth goes through this cycle all the time. we are able to hear about if more because of the internet and the media being everywhere. Yes they are big, and yes they are happening more than usual. But we have seen this type of stuff before and we have survived. People who claim the whole 2012 and end of the world/bible thumping nimrods.
    Find something better to do with your time other than try and spread mass histeria. Guess what if the world is going to end there isn't a damn thing that we can do about it.

    April 24, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. James of Denver

    I agree with Dragun. Recent geologic activity is all a natural part of the earth's natural cycle and we are all just taking a cruise on one of the planet's tectonic plates. Trying to put any of the recent events into religious terms, an "end of day's" scenario, is just not logical; but then again, those who cannot understand or accept science will accept superstition when it is convenient to their agenda.

    April 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ????

    doesnt matter which point of view you see it from, everyones has their own questions and beliefs, therefore is on us to just try to come together as one ; if that is possible and try to get trough this....

    April 26, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
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