Ash Cloud Continues Disrupting Flights Across Europe

May 10, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Ash billows from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano on May 8, in Hvolsvoellur, Iceland. The ash cloud grounded flights in several European countries on Sunday and affected transatlantic operations as well.  (Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images)
Ash billows from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano on May 8, in Hvolsvoellur, Iceland. The ash cloud grounded flights in several European countries on Sunday and affected transatlantic operations as well. (Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images)
The ash cloud spewing from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano continued its impact on European flights on Sunday and caused the cancellation of some transatlantic operations.

Eurocontrol, the European Organization for Safety of Air Navigation, said ash eruptions were still affecting the European air zone.

The eruption plume varies in color from grey to light grey, and stretches 14,000 feet to 17,000 feet into the air, but sometimes shoots up to 20,000 feet.

Several international flights were disrupted in Portugal, Italy, and Spain. Some flights in France and Germany were also disrupted on Sunday yet were expected to continue later in the day.

According to the U.K. Air Navigation Service, there were no restrictions within the country because the no-fly zone was in northwest Scotland and affected the Barra Airfield.

Icelandic forecasters said in a statement that the overall situation could be changed as the ash cloud was slowly dissipating, yet there was still no foreseeable end.

“Presently there are no indications that the eruption is about to end,” said the statement.

According to the British Meteorological Office, winds were expected to blow the ash cloud north until Monday. Transatlantic flights were affected by the ash plume drifting over the Atlantic Ocean.

Eurocontrol warned airlines to make rerouting adjustments and to take on more fuel for the longer flights. There were an estimated 24,500 flights expected on Sunday, which was 500 below the average for a Sunday at this time of year.

Some of the larger European airlines, including British Airways, Germany's Lufthansa, and Air France reported delays but no cancellations on transatlantic flights.

Lufthansa stated all German airports had reopened and were operating normally by evening.

Last month, more than 100,000 flights were canceled, more than 10 million passengers were affected, and the aviation industry lost billions of euros as Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano spewed plumes of ash that drifted over European airspace.