News / Europe

Disrupted Air Travel in Northern Europe for Third Full Day

Iceland's volcano erupted Wednesday and has since been spewing ash several miles into the air. The ash clouds include particles of rock, glass and sand that can get into an aircraft's engine and cause it to stall.

Multimedia

Audio

Northern European skies were clear of most commercial planes Saturday. The European air traffic agency said Iceland's volcanic eruption, which began on Wednesday, will continue to impact European aviation until at least Sunday morning.  Thick clouds of ash continue to blow across the continent.



Hundreds of thousands of passengers around the world remain stranded for a third day as European flights were slashed Saturday down to one-quarter of their normal number.  The shutdowns are expected to continue for at least another several days.   

People have crowded onto trains, buses and ferries in a bid to carry out their travel plans - and cab companies say they are being paid thousands of dollars to ferry people across Europe by car.



The European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol said only 6,000 flights would take place in European airspace Saturday - down from the 22,000 normally expected.   On Friday, Eurocontrol said about 16,000 or Europe's usual 28,000 daily flights were canceled.  Airspace in northern France was closed until Monday morning.

Southern Europe, including Spain, southern Italy, Greece, and Turkey remains open for flights.

Martin Crozier, senior meteorological officer at the Guernsey Met Office in England, says the volcanic eruption in southeast Iceland that has sent European aviation into meltdown is showing no sign of easing up.

"The situation hasn't improved at all I'm afraid," he said. "The volcano over Iceland is still producing quite a lot of ash. The upper level winds are still transporting that down towards the U.K. and northwest Europe. So if anything we have a reinforcement of the ash that's already up there - so things aren't looking too good today I'm afraid."

Crozier says the wind patterns that are pushing the volcanic dust towards Europe are expected to persist for days to come. "I think we're going to get the upper level winds carrying that ash down for a few more days yet until the upper wind patterns change which will probably not happen until the time frame Thursday-Saturday. So really at a worst-case scenario, with the volcano still going strongly, we could get airspace affected for the next few days," he said.

Iceland's volcano erupted Wednesday and has since been spewing ash several miles into the air. The ash clouds include particles of rock, glass and sand that can get into an aircraft's engine and cause it to stall.

The International Air Transport Association said Friday that the airline industry is losing more than $200 million in revenue a day - and they called this a conservative estimate.

Crozier says European aviation has never seen anything like it.  "In terms of disruption to aviation I think this is probably the worst it's been in northwest Europe," he said.

The last major disruption to European aviation followed the September 11 attacks in the United States almost a decade ago. U.S. airspace was closed for three days and European airlines cancelled all transatlantic flights.

The World Health Organization has warned people with breathing problems to remain indoors as much as possible when the ash is falling.

Airspace was closed Saturday in at least parts of more than a dozen countries - in some countries, the skies were emptied of commercial flights.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid