(This article relates to the 2010 eruption at Eyjafjallajokull. For information on the May 2011 eruption at Grimsvotn, please check the IceNews homepage for regular updates) All international flights to and from Iceland today are being routed through Akureyri as Keflavik International Airport is closed due to volcanic ash.
The airlines Icelandair and Iceland Express are ferrying passengers north by coach and a team of Red Cross volunteers in Akureyri is kindly offering tired travellers sandwiches, coffee and soft drinks and the local Search and Rescue team is reinforcing the Akureyri Airport workforce to ensure the operation runs smoothly.
Airport closures are also affecting parts of the rest of Europe, with six Scottish airports closed, several in Italy and large delays for passengers in Nice, France.
19 Spanish airports closed yesterday, but they have slowly been returning to normal today.
Volcanic ash could continue to periodically close airports across Europe and North America all through the busy summer tourist season; but counter-intuitively, travelling to Iceland is probably the least likely way of being caught out by delays. This is because Iceland’s three international airports lie to the north, the west and the east of the Eyjafjallajokull eruption, meaning it is extremely unlikely blown ash could ever close all three at the same time. Icelandair proved during the recent Europe-wide travel chaos that it has imagination. Quickly setting up temporary homes in Akureyri and Glasgow and being first to land at Trondheim in Norway as soon as it re-opened, the airline kept passengers moving better than most other carriers.