Air Travel Remains Disrupted Despite Some Airports Reopening

19 April 2010 (Last Updated April 19th, 2010 18:30)

A volcanic ash cloud from Iceland started to dissipate yesterday, allowing several European airports to start to clear the backlog of flights created from airport closures that have now lasted six days. Airports in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Prestwick in Scotland reopened, as has

A volcanic ash cloud from Iceland started to dissipate yesterday, allowing several European airports to start to clear the backlog of flights created from airport closures that have now lasted six days.

Airports in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Prestwick in Scotland reopened, as has Newcastle airport in England.

Manchester is currently planning to reopen at 1pm GMT, having initially planned to start flights at 9am, and Gatwick Airport said it is also planning to resume some services this afternoon.

Heathrow Airport, however, remains closed until further notice as air traffic control monitors a second ash cloud currently making its way down towards western Europe.

It is likely to take a long time for airlines to clear the backlog, presuming the second cloud has no effect on air travel.

British Airways has cancelled all short-haul flights until after 4pm while budget airlines are unlikely to provide any services until later in the week.

Budget airline EasyJet cancelled all flights in northern Europe until 5pm today while competitor Ryanair grounded all flights until at least 1pm on Wednesday.

Flights from the rest of Europe remain heavily disrupted with European air traffic control body Eurocontrol expecting only a third of flights to operate.