Certain flights will be allowed above Scottish and Northern Irish airspace from this evening, although NATs says the situation “will continue to be variable”.
The latest statement from NATs (released at 1500) advises:
“The situation regarding the volcanic eruption in Iceland remains dynamic and the latest information from the Met Office shows that the situation will continue to be variable.
“Based on the latest Met Office information, part of Scottish and Northern Irish airspace including Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh airports will continue to be available from 1900 today to 0100 tomorrow, Wednesday 21 April, and also south to Newcastle Airport.
“Glasgow and Teesside airports will additionally become available in this time period. Restrictions will remain in place over the rest of UK airspace below 20,000ft.
“Flights above the ash cloud are now permitted in the UK; between 1900 today and 0100 tomorrow, this will enable aircraft movements above 20,000ft in UK airspace.
“We will continue to monitor Met Office information and the situation is likely to change during the course of the day. We will make a further statement at approximately 2100 today.”
British Airways, which yesterday put the cost of the disruptions and resulting loss of business at £15-20 million per day, is not operating any short haul flights today.
“We were planning to operate short haul flights scheduled to depart from 7pm, but these have now been cancelled,” the airline said this morning.
“We are still hoping to operate long haul flights which are scheduled to depart after 4pm on Tuesday 20 April, however this remains subject to the full and permanent opening of airspace.”
Eurocontrol, the European organisation governing air safety, last night said “air traffic control services are not being provided to civil aircraft in the major part of European airspace.”
“This includes Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, northern Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland, parts of Ukraine and the UK,” Eurocontrol said.
“In some of these areas the upper airspace has been made available, depending on the observed and forecasted area of possible ash contamination. However, it is difficult to access this airspace as in most cases the surrounding area is not available for flights.”
Airline statements will be posted here as and when Business Traveller receives them.
For more information visit nats.co.uk, and passengers are advised to contact their airline.
To see a live map (updated every 10 seconds) showing the aircraft currently flying above Europe, click here. Image below captured at 1515 today.
For the latest updates from the Met Office, click here.