Skip to content

Icelandic Volcano’s Eruption Disrupts European Air Traffic

April 15, 2010

A few weeks ago I talked about the disruptions travelers would face from the breakdown of union negotiations in Germany, the UK, and Greece. Today, Mother Nature has proven yet again that anything man can do, she can do better.

The Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, located in southern Iceland, erupted Wednesday sending a cloud of ash and sulphur dioxide gas into the atmosphere. The debris from the eruption has been carried by the westerly winds towards Europe. It the cloud currently stretches over parts of the UK and Scandinavia and is expected to reach well into the mainland. While the contents of the cloud are not expected to be a health hazard it could be dangerous for those traversing the skyways of Europe. The potential for rocks, sand, and glass in the ash cloud damaging the engines of planes is great enough that the UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands have grounded flights in and out of all their airports. France and Finland have both grounded flights from their northern airports.

And in keeping with the old saying “One man’s loss is another man’s gain,” Eurostar, operator of the Channel Tunnel connecting the UK and France has been inundated with callers trying to find seats on their trains.

It is expected, so long as the eruption does not continue to hurl matter into the sky, that the cloud should dissipate in the couple of days. Of course, that’s not much of a comfort to stranded travelers, but then again, when is the wrath of Mother Nature ever convenient?

Link: NASA satellite images of the Icelandic eruption 

One Comment leave one →
  1. eubeyer permalink
    April 20, 2010 9:01 am

    Update: While Europe continues to struggle with the ash plume that has grounded at least half of Europe’s flights, it appears that more flights will be allowed today, allowing some stranded passengers to get home. The BBC has a very interesting page that shows how the ash cloud affects transatlantic travel and how the ash cloud has shifted across Europe:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: