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Further Travel Disruptions from New Volcanic Ash Cloud

The European travel industry, still reeling from the fallout from the Iceland volcanic ash cloud, is set to be plunged into further chaos following a new eruption.

Though not yet considered a major threat, scientists have said that the geothermal activity may set off the Katla volcano.

Ireland has issued a temporary travel ban for Tuesday as the ash cloud hovered closer, while British authorities have closed small sections of air space, although at this stage European airspace is still running per schedule.

On Monday, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said that all flights from 06:00 GMT until midday Tuesday would be grounded over fears for passenger safety due to the new cloud threat. The IAA said that Ireland lay within the area predicted for concentration of ash particles that were considered too high by manufacturers for plane engines.

The IAA said that passer and crew safety was paramount and that the southward drift of the particles has forced their decision, although added that the temporary grounding of flights was a temporary precaution.

Hundreds of flights in and out of Dublin Airport were affected by the groundings, with dozens more from Cork and Shannon also postponed. Aer Lingus and Ryanair have both issued travel advice cautioning passengers that delays and even cancellations may result from the groundings, while the IAA urged all air travellers to check with their respective airlines for the latest status.

Last month’s shutdowns were estimated to cost carriers close to £2 billion, with some 10 million passengers affected.

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