Volcanic ash disrupts flights again

Flights in northern Europe have once again been cancelled following a volcanic ash cloud.

The Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland erupted on Saturday, May 21, and the resulting ash cloud extended over Scotland and northern England through the course of Tuesday and, at the time the Algarve Resident went to press on Wednesday, the cloud had been identified as having a potentially high concentration over Holland and parts of Germany.

Two easyJet flights between Faro and Glasgow were cancelled on Tuesday while Ryanair cancelled two flights between Faro and Edinburgh and a further two between Faro and Glasgow.

A spokesman from easyJet told the Algarve Resident: “We strongly advise that all passengers check the status of their flight at before travelling to the airport.

“For cancelled flights, easyJet offers its passengers the option of transferring their flight free of charge or a refund on the internet.”

The spokesman added: “While the circumstances are outside the airline’s control, easyJet apologises for any inconvenience caused and would like to reassure passengers that we are doing everything possible to minimise the disruption.”

Meanwhile, Ryanair operated a one hour verification flight up to 41,000 feet in Scottish airspace on the Tuesday morning.

A spokesman for Ryanair told the Algarve Resident: “The aircraft took off from Glasgow Prestwick, flew to Inverness, on to Aberdeen and down to Edinburgh – all of which according to the UK Met Office charts were in the red zone of high ash concentration.

“During the flight there was no visible volcanic ash cloud or any other presence of volcanic ash.  The absence of any volcanic ash in the atmosphere supports Ryanair’s view that there is no safety threat to aircraft in this mythical “red zone” which is another misguided invention by the UK Met Office.”

Flight disruption in the Algarve is currently only as a result of cancelled flights in the north of Europe.

A spokesman from the Portuguese Meteorological Office, Meteo, said: “It is not predicted that the airspace of Portugal will be affected by the volcanic ash.” Daisy Sampson