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On air at 1100GMT: Volcanic ash cloud

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:03 UK time, Wednesday, 25 May 2011


500 flights across Europe were cancelled yesterday as the ash cloud from the volcano erupting in Iceland hit Norway, Denmark and the UK, with Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England especially badly hit.

Today as it moves east and south, Germany has grounded air traffic across its northern airspace. Bremen and Hamburg airports closed earlier with traffic at Berlin's airports due to stop later.

M2Esq tweeted

may be stranded in Europe for a bit longer than expected. Damn Icelandic volcano. All flights canceled. What a pain in the ash!

Experts say the eruption is on a different scale to that of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano last year, when millions of travellers were stranded amid concerns about the damage volcanic ash could cause to aircraft engines.

But it's not without controversy.

The head of British Airways, Ryanair and and Iberia are criticising the handling of the ash cloud. Both BA and Ryainair claim a test flight "found nothing" after flying through a smoke plume deemed by regulators to be too dangerous for normal commercial flights.

A new system has been introduced in the UK meaning blanket flight bans will no longer be imposed. Now individual carriers can apply for permission to fly in different environments depending on their capabilities.

The ash cloud is also affecting the Champions league final on Saturday at Wembley. Barcelona have already flown out to London, two days early for fear of their flight being affected by the ash cloud.

Barca wanted to avoid a repeat of last year, when the squad travelled a thousand kilometres by coach to Milan for their Champions League semi-final because the ash cloud from another Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjoell, disrupted air travel throughout Europe.


Growl at the #ashcloud after the couple of sprinkles of rain yesterday, my windows are polluted with ash!


Feeling sorry for anyone stranded with the Ash cloud - brings back memories of last year for me. I hope you are stranded somewhere nice!

European air traffic controllers said they expect 700 flights to be cancelled over Germany on Wednesday, almost one in 10 compared to normal daily traffic

However a UK weather official says the volcano has now stopped erupting. Experts in Iceland say there has been no activity since 0200 GMT and the ash plume has almost disappeared

We'll have an expert on the programme to answer your questions and we'll be speaking to people stranded and affected by the ash cloud.

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