Flights in Great Britain canceled over fears of ash from Iceland volcano

LONDON — A dense ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano blew toward Scotland on Monday, causing airlines to cancel flights and raising fears of a repeat of last year's huge travel disruptions in Europe that stranded millions of passengers.

Britain's Civil Aviation Authority said it appears that ash from the Grimsvotn volcano could reach Scottish airspace early today and affect other parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland later in the week.

British Airways suspended all of its flights for this morning between London and Scotland, while Dutch carrier KLM and Easyjet canceled flights to and from Scotland and northern England at the same time. Two domestic airlines also announced flight disruptions.

Still, authorities say they don't expect the kind of massive grounding of flights that followed last year's eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland because systems and procedures have been improved since then, and the cloud is not expected to move over continental Europe.

Pilots unions, however, expressed concerns that the ash could still be dangerous.

Iceland's main airport, Keflavik, and domestic airport Reykjavik both reopened Monday after being closed for almost 36 hours. Grimsvotn began erupting Saturday.

Hjordis Gudmundsdottir, spokeswoman for the airport administrator Isavia, said, "The outlook is good for Keflavik and other Icelandic airports in the coming 24 hours. We don't have a forecast for after that so we wait and see."

Flights in Great Britain canceled over fears of ash from Iceland volcano 05/23/11 [Last modified: Monday, May 23, 2011 10:56pm]

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