'Ash not to disrupt air traffic across Europe in coming days'

'Ash not to disrupt air traffic across Europe in coming days'

 Our expectation is that there would be no disturbances to air traffic whatsoever for the next couple of days, said an official of the Brussels-based air traffic agency Eurocontrol.
There are no flight restrictions anywhere across Europe today, the official said.

Meanwhile, British forecasters said the volcanic ash cloud threatening travel plans in the UK should be cleared in time for the weekend.

As activity from the Grimsvotn volcano dropped, only a handful of flights in and out of the UK were cancelled yesterday.

Airline passengers enjoyed near disruption-free flights as the ash cloud from Iceland moved away from British skies to northern Europe.

The Met Office said there would be "minimal" ash over the UK and Europe as the bank holiday weekend begins.

Air India flights to Mumbai and Delhi from London were not affected, said a spokeswoman for the airline.

The latest information from the Icelandic Meteorological Office suggests the volcano is no longer emitting ash, and only minor steam plumes from the crater up to around 300 metres. British Transport Secretary Philip Hammond met representatives from air traffic control company Nats, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Met Office, British Airways and easyJet to discuss ways air travel disruption could be avoided in the future.

He said: "I am pleased that, following discussions with the industry and regulators on Wednesday, we have agreed further steps to reduce potential disruption, should the ash cloud return.

"Test aircraft are now flying through the ash cloud gathering information about its density, BA and easyJet have agreed to provide further information to help us define the 'red zone' even more accurately in the future, and key steps have been taken to establish a new 'underflying' regime for UK airports."

With the ash cloud moving away to northern Europe, several UK carriers, including British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair had to axe some of their German flights yesterday.
Around 700 flights in total were axed across Europe.

Ryanair questioned the necessity of designating "red zones" over Scotland today.
But Hammond said aviation authorities would "not be bullied" by Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary, or anyone else, into departing from a policy of prioritising passenger and aircraft safety.