Icelandic volcanic ash will ground UK for days to come

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London, Apr 18(ANI): UK's airspace faces the possibility of not being is use this coming week because the cloud of volcanic ash hovering over the country threatens to stay put until Friday.

Thousands of flights have been cancelled, and airports across Europe have been shut down as the northerly winds are pushing the ash caused by Iceland's second volcanic eruption in the space of a month from Iceland to the south rather than sending it eastwards towards Scandinavia.

All flights to and from Britain have been cancelled until at least 1p.m. today, but this deadline may be pushed back again.

The crisis is costing cash-strapped British Airlines 28 million pounds a day, while worldwide, airlines are losing 130 million pounds a day.

Scientists had thought that the volcano was abating, but it made some of its strongest eruptions yet on Saturday, blasting plumes of ash more than 30,000ft high.

The ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano is dangerous to planes because the molten rock erupts through the glacier, solidifies and then shatters into tiny fragments. The smallest are carried high into the atmosphere and cannot be detected by radar or other aircraft instruments, The Times Online reports.

Meanwhile, some foreign airlines are pushing up the fares of their few remaining seats on flights, and passengers have been forced to sign forms exempting airlines from any compensation claims if they are then grounded in connecting airports. (ANI)

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