By Joseph George www.emirates247.com
The Icelandic ash cloud that has disrupted hundreds of flights across Europe has moved away from the UK to Germany. Ninety per cent of all flights to and from airports in the north of the country has been affected.
Emirates Airlines, meanwhile, cancelled its morning flight from Dubai to Hamburg. In its statement the airline said that due to the closure of the airspace over Northern Germany caused by the volcanic ash from the recent eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland, Emirates’ flights EK059 and EK 060 (Dubai – Hamburg – Dubai) have been cancelled for Wednesday, May 25.
Passengers have been advised to either elect to be re-booked onto EK055 to Dusseldorf and EK058 from Dusseldorf, or travel the following day. Ground transportation will be provided between Hamburg Airport and Dusseldorf Airport.
The airline also announced that all other flights to and from the UK and Europe continue to operate as per the schedule.
“Emirates continues to monitor the situation closely, in addition to liaising with the relevant authorities regarding the movement of the volcanic ash cloud. Passengers are advised to check emirates.com for further updates – these will be provided as soon as they are available,”the statement added.
Meanwhile, Etihad Airways flights to and from the UK and Europe are currently operating as normal, the airline said in a statement on its website. The airline continues to monitor the situation in relation to the volcanic eruption in Iceland.
Etihad is in close liaison with aviation experts, including the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Rolls Royce and General Electric, and has been assured that the airspace in areas where it operates is open and safe to fly.
Flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi scheduled to depart to major European destinations continues to be on schedule.
According to reports the volcanic ash, a result of the recent eruption of Grimsvotn in Iceland, was predicted to have cleared by 1am on Wednesday morning, according to air traffic control company Nats.
Brussels-based Eurocontrol said the disruption caused by an ash cloud that drifted from an Icelandic volcano across Britain before moving across the North Sea was focused on Germany.
“We are now expecting 700 flights to be cancelled today over Germany out of the normal 8,000 in Germany and 29,000 across Europe,” Eurocontrol said in their regular Twitter update.
German Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer told public television ARD the fallout from the Grimsvoetn volcano eruption on Saturday was expected to improve later in the day.
Major German hubs in Frankfurt and Munich have not been affected. Poland and Scandinavian countries are also expected to be affected.
Lufthansa to scrub 150 flights
The leading German airline, Lufthansa, expects to cancel about 150 flights Wednesday due to ash pouring out of an Icelandic volcano, a spokesman told AFP.
He also noted that airports in the northern ports of Bremen and Hamburg were closed “and will probably reopen only in the afternoon.”
On Tuesday, German air safety experts said they would shut down airports in northern Germany from from 5:00 am (0300 GMT) owing to the threat ash is said to pose to airplane engines.
But according the the European Commission, the cloud emitted by Iceland’s Grimsvoetn volcano was not expected to force widespread closures of European airspace.
The most active volcano in Iceland began an eruption on Saturday that is its most violent in at least a century.
Barely a year after a similar eruption forced the biggest closure of European airspace since World War II, ash-laden clouds caused flights in and out of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland to be cancelled Tuesday.
Poland and Scandinavian countries are also expected to be affected.
Emirates diverts Glasgow flight
An announcement from Emirates airlines said on Tuesday that the airline had to divert its Glasgow-bound flight to Manchester due to the spread of volcanic ash coming from Iceland towards Scotland.
“Emirates’ flight EK027 from Dubai Airport to Glasgow Airport was diverted to Manchester Airport on Tuesday, 24th May due to volcanic ash from the recent eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland”, said a statement from the Emirates.
It added that Emirates provided ground transportation to ensure the passengers reached Glasgow Airport from Manchester Airport. “Emirates also provided ground transportation for passengers from Glasgow to Manchester for the return flight EK028 to Dubai,” said the statement.
“Emirates’ flight EK036 from Newcastle to Dubai was unable to operate on May 24 due to airspace restrictions immediately around Newcastle Airport, which prevented the aircraft’s departure,” said the airline.
All other flights to and from the UK and Europe continue to operate as per the schedule, the airline said in a statement on its website.
Airline will keep the passengers informed in case of any changes due to unforeseen reasons.