Current Issues

Iceland’s plume spells disaster for air-travellers to/from Europe

Photo courtesy of Árni Sæberg, Icelandic Coast Guard

It has been a frantic week for air travellers.

The Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland erupted for the 2nd time on Wednesday releasing noxious and hazardous toxic volcanic ash to the atmosphere.

Volcanic ash is as dangerous as ice to aircrafts. It’s absolutely impossible for aircrafts to travel through volcanic ash, which contains glass and pulverised rocks that can stall the airplanes’ engines.

The volcanic ash has drifted from Iceland to busy airspace areas causing the United Kingdom to cancel all flights scheduled yesterday and this morning.

Over 4000 flights in Europe was cancelled yesterday,  and latest news reported no improvements in the situation. Travellers scheduled to fly today are anxiously waiting for latest updates from their airlines in about a few hours.

The United Kingdom was not the only country affected. The cloud of disaster is predicted to spread further east and south, affecting Ireland, Scandinavia, the Benelux countries, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, the Baltic states and parts of France and Russia.

If the Icelandic volcano continues erupting, it is predicted that this situation will cause major headaches for airports, airlines, freight companies, insurance agencies, business-people, frequent travellers and tourists for the next 6 months.

No doubt, it’s very chaotic times for travellers.

I hope that something effective such as cloud-seeding will be done to dissipate the volcanic plume if the situation takes a sudden turn to the worse.

But for now, I’d just be here wishing everyone good luck with the situation.


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