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Icelandic volcanic ash alert grounds UK & European flights

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When the same volcano erupted 200yrs ago, it went on for 2yrs. But then ppl were not flying those days. It'd be a global catastrophe if it decides to spew muck for 2yrs too this time around.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/8626693.stm

 

news.bbc.co.uk

The ban on flights in English airspace has been extended until at least 1900 BST because of the threat posed by a cloud of volcanic ash.

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It'd be a global catastrophe if it decides to spew muck for 2yrs too this time around.

Yeah, just imagine what a hassle it would be for those who are tasked with dusting around the house :p

When Pinatubo hiccuped back in 1991, the sandy feel to everything even here in KK was most annoying :)

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PH-BVD, KLM's Skyteam B777, has been grounded in KUL. Both D7's A340 is also in KUL.

 

For pilots of most airlines, you can expect volcanic ash situation in your next base check syllabus.

Edited by Radzi

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KLM has received permission to do a testflight and is doing that right now (to see the effects on the engines)...

 

PH-BGB is presently doing 'circles' at around 39000 feet... :pardon:

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KLM has received permission to do a testflight and is doing that right now (to see the effects on the engines)...

 

PH-BGB is presently doing 'circles' at around 39000 feet... :pardon:

 

Very important test, all the best to KLM!

 

Btw did this flight break the no-fly order?

http://avherald.com/h?article=42a3d003&opt=0

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Very important test, all the best to KLM!

 

Btw did this flight break the no-fly order?

http://avherald.com/h?article=42a3d003&opt=0

 

It's now at 41000 feet just East of GRQ...

 

AFAIK Italian airspace is still open (Pope flew from FCO to MLA today too), so no breaking the rules here; Western Russia, though, should have been closed, but, as you know, Russians................................................... :pardon:

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Guest Levent

I don't like to be shipped to the US in 2 weeks :pardon:

I get seasick :yahoo:

 

Maybe the airline will offer you an Atlantic cruise instead? :)

 

 

KLM has received permission to do a testflight and is doing that right now (to see the effects on the engines)...

 

PH-BGB is presently doing 'circles' at around 39000 feet... :pardon:

 

I am surprised that they would even take such a risk. I mean, what happens if they find out that the ash does cause a big problem and shuts down both engines? Do they have an "emergency glide back to the airport" checklist???

 

What started out as something that you could call interesting or even exciting, is now quickly turning into a real nightmare. This volcano isn't showing any signs of calming down. The no-fly zone over Europe is expanding and moving south as well as east. I am working a night shift now and I have literally almost nothing to do, as most of our planes are stuck somewhere in Europe.

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Heard in the news the KLM test flight landed safely without any problem, although eexperts still needs to assess the engines and all that.

 

My hope is that the authorities partially allowed flights for intra-Europe travel first or travel outbound to Asia/Australia. That may help stranded European passengers to get to their homes.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63G1U920100417

 

Dutch, German airlines say no damage in test flights

Gilbert Kreijger and Aaron Gray-Block

AMSTERDAM

Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:02pm EDT

 

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch and German airlines carried out test flights over Europe on Saturday and said their planes appeared undamaged by a volcanic ash cloud that has forced airports to close across the continent.

...

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Guest Levent

The latest charts show that the ash cloud continues spreading in all directions. It now covers most of western Russia too, although the authorities have not decided to follow Europe with closing FIRs. The cloud is starting to penetrate the air space of Spain, Greece and Turkey and is moving south over Italy. Also, it is now moving west over the Atlantic towards Canada, so it will very likely affect trans-atlantic flights more than it is now.

 

And all this from a relatively small volcano. Imagine that Etna suddenly wakes up and decides to join the fun...

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And all this from a relatively small volcano. Imagine that Etna suddenly wakes up and decides to join the fun...

 

Etna probably won't cause as much damage to Europe due to the wind directions, I guess most to suffer would be Africa & the Middle East.

 

Authorities must do something about this, the prospect of no flights for months or even years is going to be catastrophic to the world. I bet somebody is already working on a 'volcanic ash radar' for planes.

 

---

 

'No end in sight' for volcano ash

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2010/04/201041822341405635.html

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Just looking at radarvirtuel.com...

 

seems that southern Europe is free from the ash cloud. The KLM B738 hovers around the closed airspace along with a B767.

 

QR and EY planes seeing taking a more southerly route (in fact the aircrafts are flying above Mediterranean sea) for the North America-DOH/AUH route. (in normal days, it's far more northerly right?)

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During Mt. Pinatubo's eruption in the 90s, did the airspace in this region close down like in Europe? I'm pretty certain the fallout is much bigger than the one in Iceland.

Edited by Mohd Suhaimi Fariz

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During Mt. Pinatubo's eruption in the 90s, did the airspace in this region close down like in Europe? I'm pretty certain the fallout is much bigger than the one in Iceland.

 

Dunno, but aircrafts were damaged as far as 1000km away from the eruption. If I'm not mistaken, my parents told me that our neighbour's house roof in Sabah was covered in ash.

 

1991 Pinatubo Eruptions and Their Effects on Aircraft Operations

Edited by Alif A. F.

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Russians flew in for the Polish president's state funeral. Maybe they have very strong engines or they are not afraid, like the western Europeans are!

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Does anyone know if any Malaysian planes are stuck in Europe? If so, where and since when.

 

Don't know about aircraft, but some of our pilots do get stuck in Europe. As per a Facebook posting of one of them......

stuck in Frankfurt...volcanic ash...dok sini lagi dua tiga hari kot... makan laaa lambchop sepuas hati...jommmmm

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Anyhow, the Dutch delegation didn't depart to KRK for the State Funeral...

 

The 737-800 mentioned before and in the below mentioned article was PH-BGB which flew up to 41000 feet for the tests as KL7051...

 

Airports And Airspace Closed By Ash Cloud

 

April 17, 2010

 

Large parts of Europe enforced no-fly rulings for a fourth day on Sunday because of a huge ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano that has caused the worst air travel chaos since the Sept. 11 attacks. Here is a list of countries as of 1150 GMT on Sunday and their airspace status:

 

AUSTRIA - Airspace expected to remain closed until at least 2400 GMT Sunday.

 

BELGIUM - Airspace closed until at least 1200 GMT Sunday. Main airline, Brussels Airlines, has cancelled all flights until Monday.

 

BRITAIN - Airspace closed until at least 2400 GMT Sunday. British Airways cancels all Monday flights.

 

BULGARIA - Sofia and Plovdiv airports open as of 1100 GMT Sunday. Other airports closed. Transit flights permitted at 8,000 metres altitude.

 

CZECH REPUBLIC - Airspace closed until at least 1000 GMT Monday.

 

DENMARK - Airspace closed until at least 2400 GMT Sunday.

 

ESTONIA - Airspace closed until Monday

 

FINLAND - Airspace closed until at least 1500 GMT Monday.

 

FRANCE - The last airports still operating in the south, such as Toulouse, Montpellier and Biarritz will close from 1200 GMT. From then all French airports will be shut until at least 0600 GMT Monday.

 

GERMANY - German airspace shut until at least 1800 GMT Sunday.

 

HUNGARY - Airspace to remain closed until at least 1000 GMT Monday, although some flights at the discretion of traffic control may be allowed to take off or land.

 

IRELAND - Airspace closed until at least 1200 GMT on Monday. Ryanair has cancelled all flights to and from northern Europe until 1200 GMT Monday.

 

ITALY - Northern airspace closed until at least 0600 GMT Monday.

 

LATVIA - Airspace expected to stay closed until Monday.

 

LITHUANIA - Airspace closed indefinitely according to Vilnius airport. However, Vilnius airport also says on its web site that arrivals from Moscow 12:40 (UTair Aviation), Prague 14:05 (Czech Airlines) and Riga 18:05 (AirBaltic) are still expected in Vilnius today.

 

LUXEMBOURG - Luxembourg airport closed until at least 1600 GMT Sunday.

 

NORWAY - Air space opened for limited traffic in some areas north of Kristiansand. Main airports in southern Norway such as Oslo Gardermoen, Stavanger and Bergen are closed.

 

NETHERLANDS - Dutch airline KLM cancels all European flights on Sunday and intercontinental flights from Amsterdam until at least 1800 GMT.

 

POLAND - Airspace closed since Friday, partial reopening possible on Sunday.

 

ROMANIA - Airspace closed until at least 0900 GMT Monday.

 

RUSSIA - All airports open. Aeroflot is flying to the United States via the North Pole.

 

SLOVAKIA - Airspace closed as of 1300 GMT on Friday.

 

SPAIN - Madrid airport open, but Iberia cancels all its European flights except those to or from Portugal, southern Italy, Greece and Turkey.

 

Northern Spanish airports, including Barcelona closed until at least 1400 GMT Sunday. Palma shut from 1000 GMT until at least 1800 GMT.

 

SWEDEN - Airspace closed all Sunday and into Monday. SAS said no flights would operate to, from or within Denmark, Norway and Sweden on April 17 or 18.

 

A corridor of airspace in northern Sweden is open around Kiruna as is a corridor to the Norwegian Sea.

 

SWITZERLAND - Airspace closed until at least 1200 GMT Monday.

 

UKRAINE - Kiev's Borispol airport open.

 

(Reuters)

 

 

Europe's Air Travel Crisis Enters Fourth Day

 

April 18, 2010

 

Air travel across much of Europe was paralysed for a fourth day on Sunday because of a huge cloud of volcanic ash, but Dutch and German test flights carried out without apparent damage seemed to offer hope.

 

Many countries closed their airspaces until well into Sunday or Monday, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded worldwide, and weather experts said wind patterns meant the cloud was not likely to move until later in the week.

 

They said the plume floating through the upper atmosphere from Iceland could become more concentrated on Tuesday and Wednesday, posing an even greater risk.

 

The no-fly rulings have been imposed because the dust of pulverised rock and glass particles can paralyse jet engines and damage airframes but the test flights on Saturday prompted some optimism from airline officials.

 

Dutch airline KLM said it flew a Boeing 737-800 at the regular altitude of 10 kilometres (6 miles) and up to the 13 km maximum. Germany's Lufthansa said it flew 10 planes to Frankfurt from Munich at altitudes of up to 8 km.

 

"We have found nothing unusual, neither during the flight, nor during the first inspection on the ground," KLM chief executive Peter Hartman, who took part in his airline's test, said in a statement.

 

"If the technical examination confirms this image, we are ready tomorrow to fly back our seven planes from Dusseldorf to Amsterdam. We then hope to get permission as soon as possible to partially restart our operations."

 

Dutch officials said more test flights would take place on Sunday.

 

European aviation agency Eurocontrol said no landings or takeoffs had been possible for civilian aircraft in most of northern and central Europe on Saturday because of the ash spewed out by the Icelandic volcano, which was still erupting.

 

ERUPTIONS EASING?

 

The volcanic eruption appeared to be easing on Saturday but could go on for days or even months, officials said.

 

US-based forecaster AccuWeather said the ash was in an area of weak wind flow and was unlikely to move far on Monday.

 

"The plume is expected to become more concentrated Tuesday and Wednesday, posing a greater threat to air travel. However, it is also expected to become narrower, impacting a smaller area," said AccuWeather.

 

It said an Atlantic storm and change in the direction of the jet stream on Thursday could break up the cloud.

 

Britain's weather agency told BBC television it was likely the cloud would remain over Britain for some days.

 

Britain, Germany and Denmark were among the countries to announce their airspaces were closed for the whole of Saturday. Early on Sunday, Britain and Germany extended their shutdowns until 6 pm GMT.

 

France said Paris airports would be closed until at least Monday morning. Italy maintained a shutdown of its northern airports. The Netherlands and Switzerland extended their no-fly rulings until 12 noon on Sunday.

 

Unless the cloud disrupts flights for weeks, threatening factories' supply chains, economists do not think it will significantly slow Europe's shaky recovery from recession or affect second-quarter gross domestic product figures.

 

"The overall impact should be very limited even if the problem persists for a day or more," said IHS Global Insight chief UK and European economist Howard Archer.

 

Kenya's flower exporters said they were already losing up to USD$2 million a day because they had not been able to airlift their blooms. Kenya accounts for about a third of flower imports into the European Union.

 

Airlines could also suffer a severe financial blow.

 

British Airways, hit by strikes last month that cost it around USD$70 million, cancelled all Sunday's flights.

 

Ireland's Ryanair, Europe's biggest low-cost carrier, has cancelled all flights to and from northern European countries until 1200 GMT on Monday.

 

The fallout hit airline shares on Friday with Lufthansa, British Airways, Air Berlin, Air France-KLM, Iberia and Ryanair down between 1.4 and 3.0 percent.

 

Disruption spread to Asia, where dozens of Europe-bound flights were cancelled and hotels from Beijing to Singapore strained to accommodate stranded passengers. In Singapore, 45 flights were cancelled on Saturday, Changi Airport said.

 

More than four in five flights by US airlines to and from Europe were cancelled on Saturday. Shipping company FedEx said more than 100 FedEx Express flights headed to Europe were rerouted, diverted or cancelled within the past 72 hours.

 

The volcano began erupting on Wednesday for the second time in a month from below the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, hurling a plume of ash 6 to 11 km (4 to 7 miles) into the atmosphere.

 

By Saturday this had fallen to 5 to 8 km (3 to 5 miles).

 

"The eruption could go on like that for a long time," said Bergthora Thorbjarnardottir, a geophysicist at the UK's Meteorological Office.

 

"Every volcano is different and we don't have much experience with this one. It's been 200 years since it erupted last."

 

(Reuters)

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Ash Relentless As New Tremors Rock Iceland

 

April 18, 2010

 

Powerful tremors from an Icelandic volcano that has been a menace for air travel worldwide rocked the countryside on Sunday as eruptions hurled a steady stream of ash into the sky.

 

Ash from the volcano drifted southeast towards Europe, sparing the capital Reykjavik and other more populated centres but forcing farmers and their livestock indoors as a blanket of ash fell on the surrounding areas.

 

Iceland's Meteorological Office said tremors from the volcano had grown more intense and had increased from a day ago, but that the column of steam and ash rising from the volcano had eased back to 4-5 km (2.5-3 miles) from as high as 11 km when it started erupting earlier this week.

 

"We are seeing mixed signals. There are some hints that the eruption will be decreasing, and others that show it is not decreasing," Einar Kjartansson, a geophysicist at the Meteorological Office said.

 

One positive sign for people in the area is that there was no immediate threat of further flooding.

 

The eruption is taking place under Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier, normally a popular hiking ground about 120 km (75 miles) southeast of the capital Reykjavik.

 

Kjartansson believes the volcano has melted about 10 percent of the glacier, but melting might have slowed in recent hours.

 

However, that does not mean Europe will see great relief from the plume of ash that is choking the upper atmosphere with tiny particles of glass and pulverised rock, threatening jet engines and airframes.

 

The glacier on top of the volcano is about 200 metres (650 ft) thick -- thinner than many glaciers atop other volcanoes that have erupted in recent times. That means there is less ice, and water, to suffocate the eruptions and resulting steam.

 

"It might mean more intense ash production," Kjartansson said.

 

It still could take months for the volcano to burn through the rest of the glacier, to a point where the steam and ash would turn instead into lava, he said.

 

DAY TURNS TO NIGHT

 

Vidir Reynisson, of the Civil Protection Department, said some areas near the volcano were pitch black during daylight hours.

 

"There are places where you can't even see the palm of your hand," he said.

 

His department has recommended people stay indoors, although some have evacuated voluntarily. They also advise people to keep their houses heated, which helps keep the ash outside.

 

Many farmers, he said, remained to tend their livestock and some, assisted by rescue squads, were on rooftops sweeping off the accumulated ash to prevent roofs from caving in.

 

Meanwhile, travellers stranded in Iceland due to limited flights out of Keflavik airport started to get approval on travel to northern Norway. Flights to the United States remained unaffected.

 

Iceland sits on a volcanic hotspot in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and has relatively frequent eruptions, though most occur in sparsely populated areas and pose little danger to people or property. The last eruption took place in 2004.

 

(Reuters)

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Test Flights Raise Hope For European Air Traffic

 

April 18, 2010

 

Air travel across much of Europe was paralysed for a fourth day on Sunday by a huge cloud of volcanic ash, but Dutch and German test flights carried out without apparent damage seemed to offer some hope of respite.

 

British Airways and Aer Lingus highlighted uncertainty over any resumption of flights in the immediate future by cancelling all of their flights for Monday.

 

Dutch airline KLM said inspection of an airliner after a test flight showed no damage to engines or evidence of dangerous ash concentrations.

 

Germany's Lufthansa also reported problem-free test flights, while Italian and French carriers announced they would fly empty airliners on Sunday.

 

The Association of Dutch Pilots (VNV) said that along with sister organisations it believed a partial resumption of flights, with some restrictions, was possible despite the continuing eruption from an Icelandic volcano.

 

"The concentration of ash particles in the atmosphere is in all likelihood so little it poses no threat to air transport," said VNV chairman Evert van Zwol.

 

Through Sunday, a clampdown held across much of Europe, posing a growing problem for businesses -- especially airlines, estimated to be losing USD$200 million a day -- and for thousands of travellers stranded worldwide.

 

The European aviation agency Eurocontrol said only 4,000 flights were expected in European airspace on Sunday, compared with 24,000 normally. It said a total of 63,000 flights had been cancelled in European airspace since Thursday.

 

The imaginative traveller sometimes found a way, weaving at the edges of the sprawling cloud. Reuters correspondent Mark Meadows flew over two days from St Petersburg to Rome, via Istanbul and Athens, then homewards by train to Milan.

 

"It's possible to fly around the 'cloud', and the fact I could still find seats suggests not everyone has seen that possibility," he said.

 

Many countries, including Austria, Britain, France and Sweden, closed their airspace into Monday. Russian airports remained open, routing planes to North America over the North Pole to avoid the cloud. Weather experts said wind patterns meant it was not likely to move far until later in the week.

 

They said the dark grey plume rising from the volcano and drifting southwards through the upper atmosphere could become more concentrated on Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

DANGEROUS ASH

 

KLM, acting on a European Union request, flew a Boeing 737-800 without passengers at the regular altitude of 10 km (6 miles) and up to the 13 km maximum on Saturday. Germany's Lufthansa said it flew 10 empty planes to Frankfurt from Munich at altitudes of up to 8 km.

 

"We hung up filters in the engines to filter the air. We checked whether there was ash in them and all looked good," said a KLM spokeswoman. "We've also checked whether there was deposit on the plane, such as the wings. Yesterday's plane was all well."

 

Volcanic ash has an abrasive effect and can strip off vital aerodynamic surfaces and paralyse an aircraft engine. Aircraft avionics and electronics, as well as windshields, can also be damaged.

 

German airline Air Berlin was quoted as expressing irritation at the way the shutdown was decided.

 

"We are amazed that the results of the test flights done by Lufthansa and Air Berlin have not had any bearing on the decision-making of the air safety authorities," chief executive Joachim Hunold told the mass circulation Bild am Sonntag paper.

 

"The closure of the air space happened purely because of the data of a computer simulation at the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in London."

 

US-based forecaster AccuWeather said the ash was in an area of weak wind flow and was unlikely to move far on Monday.

 

"The plume is expected to become more concentrated Tuesday and Wednesday, posing a greater threat to air travel. However, it is also expected to become narrower, impacting a smaller area," said AccuWeather.

 

ECONOMIC HAZARDS

 

Economists say they stand by their models or predictions for European growth, hoping normal service can resume this week.

 

But if European airspace were closed for months, one economist estimated lost travel and tourism revenue alone could knock 1-2 percentage points off regional growth as long as it lasts. European growth had been predicted at 1-1.5 percent for 2010.

 

"That would mean a lot of European countries wouldn't get any growth this year," said Vanessa Rossi, senior economic fellow at Chatham House. "It would literally stifle the recovery. But the problem is it is incredibly hard to predict what will happen. Even the geologists can't tell us."

 

Chris Weafer, Chief Strategist at Russian bank Uralsib, currently stranded in Abu Dhabi en route to London from Singapore, said the only market fundamental investors were following was "the wind direction across Europe".

 

"The volcano has the potential to undermine Europe's fragile recovery and that would have global consequences. So much global trade and commerce is airborne these days that any extended disruption will have immediate impact on investment and growth."

 

Disruption spread to Asia, where dozens of Europe-bound flights were cancelled and hotels from Beijing to Singapore strained to accommodate stranded passengers.

 

More than four in five flights by US airlines to and from Europe were cancelled on Saturday. Shipping company FedEx Corp said more than 100 FedEx Express flights headed to Europe were rerouted, diverted or cancelled within the past 72 hours.

 

The volcano began erupting on Wednesday for the second time in a month from below the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, hurling a plume of ash 6 to 11 km (4 to7 miles) into the atmosphere.

 

(Reuters)

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Potential Scenarios For Volcanic Ash Crisis

 

April 18, 2010

 

The economic impact of air travel disruption from a volcanic cloud over Europe depends almost entirely on how long it lasts -- something even experts say they cannot predict. Below are several scenarios for how events could pan out.

 

CLOUD CLEARS SWIFTLY

 

The volcano could cease erupting, simply stop emitting ash, winds could shift away from Europe or the gas cloud could be dispersed unexpectedly quickly -- although so far none of these shows any signs of happening.

 

Airlines and air freight companies would immediately scramble to make up for lost time, repatriate and relocate passengers, aircraft and cargo.

 

-- Airlines would still have lost some USD$200 million a day during the shutdown, the International Air Transport Association says. Airline stocks would likely still fall on Monday as markets took into account losses over the weekend, which were not factored in on Friday.

 

-- Even if the cloud clears, some travel will still be cancelled in the coming days. Some firms are asking employees to cancel non-essential European flights over the next 7-10 days.

 

-- Airlines might show greater interest in taking out cancellation insurance. German insurer Munich Re said on Friday it could offer such insurance easily if recent events produced the demand.

 

CLOUD CLEARS, ERUPTION CONTINUES

 

Experts warn that as long as the eruption continues, the risk remains that a renewed outflow of ash or certain wind patterns could produce the same effect again in the coming months.

 

This time, airlines would be less taken aback but there would still be little they could do to prepare. The threat of a renewed shutdown might deter both business and leisure travellers from booking flights, holidays and hotels, hitting the industry even if the cloud itself never returned.

 

-- Airline industry stocks could under-perform as markets factor in a risk premium. Rail, road, sea cargo and teleconference firms could see an increase in demand.

 

-- Firms might take on additional stocks to reduce their reliance on "just-in-time" resupply by air cargo.

 

-- Any return of the cloud would again hit airline and travel stocks as well as potentially undermining regional growth.

 

-- Much would depend on whether the current eruption triggers Iceland's nearby and much larger Katla volcano, further increasing the potential impact.

 

CLOUD REMAINS, EUROPE REMAINS SHUT DOWN

 

If the cloud remains stubbornly over Europe for a sustained period of time, perhaps weeks or longer, the travel sector would take a serious hit. Wider industries would also be affected from high-tech manufacturing to supermarkets and event organisers.

 

-- This would be devastating news for the airline sector, possibly driving some of the weakest operators to the wall.

 

-- Overall European growth might be affected, slowing the recovery from recession. Already heavily indebted governments would struggle to find the funds for support programmes. Europe might lag further behind the rest of the world in the global recovery.

 

-- Teleconference, shipping, rail and road transport operators would benefit. So would airports just outside the cloud, suddenly in great demand from airlines and shipping firms as new hubs. That could benefit countries along the edge of the cloud including Ukraine, Turkey, as well as Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain -- the euro zone fringe economies worst hit by the financial crisis. Britain's Royal Mail is already shipping and trucking airmail for United States to Spain for onward flights.

 

-- Major international meetings may have to be cancelled, rescheduled or simply go ahead without senior European policymakers. That might further weaken Europe's geopolitical relevance at a time when it is already threatened by the rise of emerging economies and internal differences over dealing with the Greek debt crisis.

 

(Reuters)

 

9KLM planes returned, as test flights, from DUS to AMS today :yahoo:

 

KLM has received permission to start flying CARGO flights to the Far-East, eff this evening... :pardon:

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LUXEMBOURG - Luxembourg airport closed until at least 1600 GMT Sunday.

 

KLM has received permission to start flying CARGO flights to the Far-East, eff this evening... :pardon:

Officially LUX is closed until noon Monday the earliest, but I saw a Cargolux 747 taking off around 1800 Sunday local time (surely enough, many heads were turned), the only one so far all weekend.

 

Why would cargo flights be given special clearance?

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Why would cargo flights be given special clearance?

 

May be insurance company won’t cover pax flight during no-fly rulings. For cargo flight, liability is less and airline could self insured.

 

:drinks:

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quite easy: the airspace is NOT closed - there is just the restriction that no IFR flights may be operated. As long as the cargo flights are operated under VFR rules, they are allowed to fly.

Theoretically also passenger flights in VFR condition would be possible, but they are limited to a/c with maximum of 19 seats in europe - so replacing one 747 with 20 twinotters would be possible in theory.

Also all positioning flights of the airlines are operated under VFR conditions only with no passengers onboard.

Edited by Georg Burdicek

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