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Travel relief as ash cloud clears

27 May 2011 10:54

Frustrated travellers may get a reprieve as the Icelandic ash cloud density reduces

Frustrated travellers may get a reprieve as the Icelandic ash cloud density reduces

Airline operations in the UK are expected to return to normal, at least over the short-term, as officials said concentrations of the ash cloud from Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano will reduce significantly over the next 12 to 24 hours.

Air traffic control company Nats said it expects the UK's skies to remain clear until at least 7pm on Wednesday.

It will come as a relief for the thousands of passengers hit by disrupted schedules at airports in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Barra, Prestwick, Cumbernauld, Tiree, Carlisle and Durham Tees Valley.

However, people hoping to head out over the bank holiday weekend would do well to take out travel insurance as the Met Office warned high densities of ash could affect large parts of UK on Friday if the volcano continues to spew ash at current levels.

On Tuesday, dozens of flights in and out of Scotland and Newcastle were cancelled. Services of major airlines including British Airways, Flybe, easyJet, bmi and Aer Lingus were affected.

Nearly 500 flights were grounded across Europe, with officials in Germany warning of more cancellations on Wednesday, particularly at the badly-hit Bremen and Hamburg airports.

Earlier, Ryanair warned customers travelling to or from Bremen, Lubeck and Magdeburg airports that their travel could be disrupted.