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Volcanic ash flight disruption latest

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25 May 2011 by Luke McCormick

Updated at: 11.30am, 26th May

All air traffic returns to normal following the Grimsvotn eruption.

The volcanic ash cloud largely dissipated overnight and although there are still some limited areas of ash concentration across northern Europe these are expected to have minimal impact on European air traffic and flights, with all airports and airspace open.

Updated at: 5.30pm, 25th May

German air traffic returns to normal.

All air traffic over northern Germany has returned to normal following some disruption in the wake of the volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Berlin airport has followed Bremen and Hamburg in resuming services, having been closed for several hours earlier in the day. In total some 500 flights were cancelled in Germany before officials decided that the danger had passed.

According to the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in London, the ash cloud ought to dissipate overnight, meaning that it should have a negligible impact on European airspace and flights on Thursday.

Updated at: 1:00pm, 25th May

Bremen and Hamburg airports reopen whilst Berlin remains closed.

Officials have reopened Bremen and Hamburg airports, with German authorities announcing that the ash level is, 'no longer critical'. However, all flights in and out of Berlin continue to remain grounded.

Traffic elsewhere in Northern Europe is returning to normal following the disruption caused by the eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano. 

The Icelandic Meteorological Office has declared that the volcano stopped emitting ash at 0200 GMT on Wednesday 25th May.

Consequently they do not anticipate widespread airspace closure and prolonged disruption on a par with that experienced when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted last year.

Updated at: 10:00am, 25th May

Volcanic ash has closed the airspace above northern Germany with airports in Bremen, Hamburg and Berlin forced to suspend operations.

Airports south of Bremen are not expected to be affected, but the ash cloud is moving in an easterly direction and could affect parts of Poland later today.

An estimated 700 flights out of an average of 8,000 on a normal day will be cancelled in Germany today.

There is currently some disruption to flights from the UK to Germany and Denmark, but the situation should improve throughout the day. Easyjet has cancelled flights to Hamburg and Copenhagen.

However air traffic in parts of northern Europe is returning to normal after 500 flights were cancelled across the region yesterday.

UK air traffic control body Nats says ‘there is currently no impact from volcanic ash on UK airspace'.

British Airways expects to operate flights to all areas to today, including Scotland, after performing a ‘verification flight ' from Manchester over Scotland and Newcastle last night.

"The aircraft, and its flight performance, will then be subject to detailed inspection and analysis overnight by the airline's engineers. All data will be made available to the CAA," BA said.

Initial data suggests no evidence of any damage to the aircraft after the 45-minute flight into the ‘red zone' of high ash cloud concentration.

There are currently no restrictions on flights in any other parts of Europe and according to the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in London, ash cloud coverage is expected to dissipate during the day.

But the Met Office has warned low levels of ash from the Grimsvotn volcano could return to affect much of the UK and Europe on Friday.

"This forecast does depend on the status of the volcano since the wind direction and strength will remain variable. How this affects flight routing decisions would be determined by Civil Aviation Authority and NATS together with the individual airlines," the Met Office said.

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