Monday, April 19, 2010

100,000 Britons stranded in Europe by volcanic ash cloud as air traffic chiefs extend lockdown to 7am

Thousands of Britons today remain stranded after a vast cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland crippled airports for a second day.With the no-fly deadline pushed back to 7am tomorrow, an estimated 100,000 people were desperately trying to get back to the UK at the end of the Easter break.
The National Air Traffic Service (NATs) has eased the lockdown for a large part of Scottish airspace - which includes Shetney, the Orkneys and Northern Ireland - from 7pm today.
Nats said this meant that some North Atlantic services could operate and that there might be an opportunity for some flights to operate from the north into Newcastle after 1am tomorrow.
But the news offered only the briefest glimmer of hope as chaos continued across Europe.
There are also fresh fears that the deadline could be pushed back again as the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull shows no sign of subsiding.
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said travellers could expect 'significant disruption' to services for at least the next 48 hours.Earlier today, NATs allowed Manchester Airport to accept two diverted flights in a brief window in the dust cloud.
Three empty planes also left for long-haul destinations. They flew without passengers as there was not enough time to allow people to board.
Many British families are stranded in Spain where Malaga airport, on the Costa del Sol, was one of the worst hit, with the loss of 102 flights...

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