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Europe Airline Chaos, ash closes most airports
Europe Airline Chaos, ash closes most airports
Monday, 19 April 2010
Since this is caused by volcano ash, most of this is in the EARTHQUAKE section here
Heathrow - closed
Frankfurt - closed after reopening on a limited basis for several hours on Sunday
Paris Charles de Gaulle - closed
Schipol, Amsterdam - closed
Rome - limited service
Madrid - limited service
Monday, April 19 European Travelus Interruptus
AIRPORTS CLOSED due to ash from Iceland volcano
AIRPORTS re-OPENED, though many flights remain canceled
ITALY reopens northern air space
Sunday morning SPAIN's were CLOSED, OPENED a few hours later.
Airline body IATA condemns 'European embarrassment
The body that represents the world's airlines, IATA, has criticised Europe's governments
for the way they closed air space because of volcanic ash.
The head of the airline industry body, Giovanni Bisignani, told the BBC:
"This is a European embarrassment and it's a European mess".
Millions of passengers have been affected by the crisis, which is now into its fifth day.
Britain ordered 3 Royal Navy ships to help bring home stranded nationals.
And the French railway company SNCF has said it will offer reduced fares and 80,000 extra seats between Paris and London this week.
Mr Bisignani, of the International Air Transport Association, has said the scale of the crisis facing the airline industry is now greater than at the time of the 9/11 attacks on the US.
"The decision that Europe has made is with no risk assessment, no consultation, no co-ordination, no leadership," he said.
"Europeans are still using a system based on a theoretical model which does not work
instead of using a system and taking decisions on facts and on risk assessment."
He said airspace closures were costing airlines $200m (£130M) a day in lost revenue.
At the weekend, some European airlines staged test flights through parts of the ash trail blowing from Iceland,
leading to questions about whether the current flight bans were necessary.
But Italy's civil aviation authority closed the country's northern airspace up to a height 22,000 feet until 0800 local time (0600 GMT) on Tuesday, after briefly opening it for two hours.
EU transport ministers are to hold emergency talks by video conference on the crisis.
EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said: "We cannot just wait until this ash cloud dissipates."
The enormous shroud of fine mineral dust particles now stretches from the Arctic Circle in the north to the French Mediterranean coast in the south, and from Spain into Russia.
It comes from southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull volcano, which began erupting for the second time in a month on Wednesday.
Airspace remains closed, or partially closed, in more than 20 countries.
Tens of thousands of flights have been cancelled since the clampdown began, and the prospect of a return to normal air travel remains far from clear.
The flight bans came amid fears that the ash - a mixture of glass, sand and rock particles - can seriously damage aircraft engines.
Britain has extended a ban on most flights in its airspace until at least 1900 local time on Monday (1800 GMT).
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the move to deploy the Royal Navy ships.
He defended the continuing flight ban, saying: "I think the first thing we have got to say is the safety of air passengers is of paramount importance."
Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans working in agriculture, the country's largest export sector, face economic uncertainty because of the flight bans.
Refrigerated stores at Nairobi airport and on farms are now completely full, and a huge amount of fresh flowers and vegetables destined for the European market is in danger of perishing, the BBC's East Africa correspondent, Will Ross, reports.
The problems have also led to the postponement of next Saturday's Japanese MotoGP.
Europeans seek alternate routes
People seek flights into Rome, Athens and Madrid, train from there.
Icelandic volcano erupting, ash grounds UK flights
Many maps and graphs here
U.K. Deploys Warships to Rescue Stranded TravelersU.K. Deploys Warships to Rescue Stranded Travelers
April 19, 2010
The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and HMS Ocean will be sent across the English Channel as airspace remains closed due to volcanic ash.
Britain announced Monday it will send Royal Navy warships to rescue those stranded across the Channel by the volcanic ash cloud, and the aviation industry blasted European transport officials, claiming there was "no coordination and no leadership" in the crisis that shut down most European airports for a fifth day.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and assault ship HMS Ocean would be sent across the English Channel. A third ship is being spent to Spain to pick up soldiers trying to get back to Britain after a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
"I expect Ocean to be in the Channel today. I expect the Ark Royal to moving towards the Channel later," Brown said after a meeting of the government's emergency committee, known as COBRA.
He says Britain was speaking with Spanish authorities to see whether Britons stranded overseas could be flown there and then taken home by boat or bus.
Brown said the ash cloud had created "the biggest challenge to our aviation transport network for many years."
The International Air Transport Association says the airport lockdowns are costing the aviation industry at least $200 million a day. Millions of travelers have been stuck since the volcano under Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier begun erupting Wednesday for the second time in a month.
Air space in countries including Britain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands -- home to Europe's largest airports -- have been closed for days.
Meeting in Paris, the IATA expressed its "dissatisfaction with how governments have managed it, with no risk assessment, no consultation, no coordination, and no leadership" and called for greater urgency in reopening Europe's skies.
The aviation industry sharply criticized European governments on Monday for their handling of airport closures, saying there was "no coordination and no leadership" in the volcanic ash crisis that shut down European airports for a fifth straight day.
Some smaller airports reopened, and European officials had hoped that flights could return to about 50 percent of normal on Monday if the skies were clearing.
TURKEY Airspace, airportsTURKEY Airspace, airports
April 18-19, 2010 Ash clouds from the Iceland volcano explosion travel toward Turkey, where more than 250 flights from Istanbul have been canceled.
Turkey eases airspace shutdown as Europe allows one-third of flights April 19th.
All Turkish airports remain open.
Volcano leaves many stranded
As the ash clouds created by a volcanic eruption in Iceland slowly approach Turkey, flight cancellations in
Istanbul have left the city’s Atatürk Airport full of desperate passengers waiting to fly to destinations in Europe.
In the fourth day of the Europe-wide air-travel chaos, the number of canceled flights from Istanbul has surpassed 250, officials said.
Neither airport officials nor stranded passengers have any idea when the flights will be able to depart.
Travelers at the airport said they were tired and unhappy to be at the mercy of natural forces.
As they wait, many are searching for alternative routes to reach their destinations.
The volcanic ash clouds are expected to arrive in Turkish airspace Tuesday;
experts have warned that they may cause heath issues for infants, the elderly and people suffering from heart or lung problems.
DAILY NEWS with prophetic analysis
Europe starts to resume flightsEurope starts to resume flights
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
BELGIUM - Airspace open. Limited service
UK - Airspace open over Scotland and Northern Ireland. Limited airspace over north of England. London airports remain closed
FRANCE - Limited flights from Paris to international destinations. Most airports open
GERMANY - Airspace closed, with some exceptions, until 1800 GMT on Tuesday. Lufthansa planning to operate 200 flights
IRELAND - Airspace closed
ITALY - Airspace open. Handful of flights resumed in and out of Milan
NETHERLANDS - Airspace open. Passenger flights arriving and departing in Amsterdam
SPAIN - Airspace open; all airports operating
SWEDEN - Airspace open
SWITZERLAND - Airspace open
DENMARK - Airspace above 16,600ft open. No landings
NORWAY - Airspace closed
POLAND - Airspace closed
About half of flights over Europe are expected to go ahead on Tuesday, the Eurocontrol air traffic agency says.
A limited number of flights have taken off in northern Europe after five days of a blanket no-fly zone caused by the spread of volcanic ash from Iceland.
Planes have been departing from Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt among others - though many flights are still grounded.
A new ash cloud spreading from Iceland has meant that most of UK airspace, including London, remains closed.
Experts say southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull volcano - which erupted last Wednesday for the second time in a month - has entered a new phase and is producing more lava rather than ash and dust.
FOOD CONCERNS in UK
British supermarkets could start running short on some imported goods such as certain fruit and vegetables if the island’s airspace remains closed into next week, a trade body warned.
Christopher Snelling, head of global supply chain policy for the Freight Transport Association, warned that some items, could soon be in reduced supply if the volcanic ash cloud remained over Britain.
“There are no shortages yet, but we may start to see certain ranges affected if this carries on…,” said Snelling.
“The longer that UK airspace is closed, the greater the damage, not just to businesses here but also for farmers in the developing countries who rely on exporting their produce to Europe. Their livelihoods are in serious jeopardy.”
Flights resume across EuropeFlights resume across Europe
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Europe is starting to reopen its skies almost a week after the eruption of an Icelandic volcano grounded most planes.
About 75% of European flights are due to operate on Wednesday, according to the air traffic agency Eurocontrol.
But severe delays are still expected, as airlines try to cope with the backlog caused by the volcanic ash.
At least 95,000 flights were cancelled in the past six days, and air transport group IATA says the disruptions have cost the industry $1.7bn (£1.1bn).
Scientists say the ash plume around the Eyjafjallajokull volcano is now shrinking, although the situation remains changeable.
Iceland's civil protection agency said the volcano had lost nearly 80% of its intensity since the weekend.
Airlines have now begun the enormous task of working through the backlog to get stranded passengers where they want to go.
The Eurocontrol air traffic agency said it was optimistic the situation would be back to normal in a few days' time.
Travel analysts said passengers with current tickets would be given priority, and those who were affected by cancellations would be put on waiting lists.
Weary passengers cheered and clapped as flights began to take off from airports.
Eve Dickinson, who was among the first to arrive back in Britain, said: "We're absolutely delighted to be home."
Britain reopened its airspace from 2200 local time (2100 GMT) on Tuesday, allowing long-haul flights to land at Heathrow airport, Europe's busiest. A flight from Vancouver, Canada, was the first to arrive.
British Airways said it would operate all long-haul flights departing from Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Wednesday, but warned that there would be short-haul cancellations to and from London airports until 1300 local time (1200 GMT).
There was more good news for passengers as Air France said it would resume all long-haul flights from Wednesday, although it added that services in parts of northern Europe would stay suspended.
In Germany, Frankfurt airport listed a handful of early-morning flights arriving and departing on Wednesday but large numbers were listed as cancelled.
Around the world, airlines began putting on extra flights to clear the backlog of stranded travellers.
Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Virgin flights have begun taking off from Australia and New Zealand, while Air China and Japan Airlines announced that all their Europe flights would also be departing.
Meanwhile, nearly 300 British holidaymakers marooned in Santander, northern Spain, have been picked up by a Royal Navy warship.
The first five of a fleet of coaches promised by the UK government to help long queues of its nationals home were leaving Madrid on Tuesday evening.
European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas denied the EU had taken too long to respond to calls for airspace to be reopened, saying people's lives were at stake.
KLM flight leaves Amsterdam for New York
The UN's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), meanwhile, said it would lead moves to develop a global standard for the concentration of ash in the air beyond which it was dangerous to fly.
But final decisions about safety would remain up to governments, ICAO Council president Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez said.
The flight ban was imposed because in the high temperatures of an engine turbine, ash can turn to molten glass and cripple the engine.
As waylaid travellers scrambled for other modes of transport, ferry and railway companies enjoyed an unexpected bonanza, while some car-hire firms were reportedly increasing charges.
But many other businesses have been hit hard by the chaos.
The airline industry says it has been losing more than $200m (£130m; 150m euros) a day since the turmoil began last week.
The carmaker BMW said it was suspending production at three of its plants in Germany, because of interruptions in the supply of parts. In Japan, Nissan also suspended production lines, while Honda announced a partial halt to production.
Blocked shipments of goods are reportedly stacking up in China, while South Korea is stuck with hundreds of thousands of mobile phones.
And there are heaps of clothing bound for Europe piling up in Bangladesh.
Meanwhile exporters of fresh flowers and vegetables in Zambia, Kenya and Uganda are having to throw away tonnes of rotting stock.
For all the chaos that Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano has already created, scientists say the ash cloud might only be the start. There are concerns the eruption could set off the nearby, larger Katla volcano, which sits on the Myrdalsjokull glacier, but officials said no activity had been detected. Its last major eruption was in 1918.
Britain's airspace closed under false pretencesRemember that ash cloud? It didn't exist, says new evidence
Britain's airspace was closed under false pretences
satellite images reveal there was no doomsday volcanic ash cloud over the entire country.
Mysteriously - after the Polish plane crash - president buried - ALL CLEAR ...
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm .... the assassins have a lot of power
EVEN RUSH LIMBAUGH REPORTED THIS ON HIS RADIO SHOW!!
NEW evidence shows there was no all-encompassing cloud and, where dust was present, it was often so thin that it posed no risk.
The satellite images demonstrate that the skies were largely clear, which will not surprise the millions who enjoyed the fine, hot weather during the flight ban.
Jim McKenna, the Civil Aviation Authority's head of airworthiness, strategy and policy, admitted:
'It's obvious that at the start of this crisis there was a lack of definitive data.
Satellite images have revealed there may never have been a doomsday volcanic ash cloud over the UK (file picture)
'It's also true that for some of the time, the density of ash above the UK was close to undetectable.'
The satellite images will be used by airlines in their battle to win tens of millions of pounds in compensation from governments for their losses.
The National Air Traffic Control Service decision to ban flights was based on Met Office computer models
which painted a picture of a cloud of ash being blown south from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano.
These models should have been tested by the Met Office's main research plane, a BAE 146 jet,
but it was in a hangar to be repainted and could not be sent up until last Tuesday - the last day of the ban.
Evidence has emerged that the maximum density of the ash was only about one 20th of the limit that scientists,
the Government, and aircraft and engine manufacturers have now decided is safe.
British Airways chief Willie Walsh always insisted the total shutdown went too far.
'My personal belief is that we could have safely continued operating for a period,' he said.
Mark Tanzer, chief executive of Britain's ABTA, which represents British travel agents and tour operators,
said about 100,000 stranded British travellers should have been returned home by Monday morning.
About 35,000 more will remain marooned until Friday, the group said.
'While most flights are back to normal, and most stranded British passengers will be back by the end of this weekend,
there is still quite a high level of disruption in some destinations.
'In some areas of the world, there is a significant lack of air capacity to enable British people to be returned quickly,' Tanzer said.
Many Icelandic airports are closed and though authorities say Eyjafjallajokull is now producing much less ash, they confirmed no signs of the eruption ending.
ALSO READ COMMENTS
Volcanic ash closes UK airports - againVolcanic ash cloud closes British airports again
May 16, 2010 The volcano has become more active again
Airports across much of the UK are to close between 1300 and 1900 BST as volcanic ash drifts across Europe, the air traffic authority Nats has said.
LONDON - Civil aviation officials on Sunday said a drifting, dense cloud of volcanic ash is "rapidly encroaching" on British airspace, forcing the closure of airports in Northern Ireland.
The National Air Traffic Service said a no-fly zone has been imposed over parts of Northern Ireland, and no flights are going in or out of airports in Belfast or the Isle of Man.
Dublin and Shannon airports in the Republic of Ireland will stay open until 1 p.m. (1200 GMT).
Britain's Department of Transportation has warned that different parts of the country's airspace — including England's southeast, home to Europe's busiest airport at Heathrow — could close at different times through the next few days because of the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokul volcano.
Meanwhile, German air traffic control said its air traffic won't be affected by a possible return of the volcanic ash cloud before Wednesday.
In a statement issued late Saturday it said the latest weather forecast shows that the ash concentration will remain insignificant throughout Tuesday.
Air traffic controllers previously warned of the ash cloud's possible return for Monday, which could have led to the closure of German airports.
The German Aerospace Center and Lufthansa both announced test flights for Sunday to measure the ash concentration.
Volcanic ash closes UK airports