Volcanic ash disrupts U.K. flights through Saturday

Posted April 16, 2010 3:49 a.m. EDT
Updated April 16, 2010 10:59 a.m. EDT

— British civil aviation authorities say there will be no flights over England until Saturday morning at the earliest, as a huge ash cloud from Iceland's erupting volcano disrupts air traffic around the world.

The National Air Traffic Services says some flights could start leaving and arriving at airports in Scotland and Northern Ireland later Friday. Another agency update is expected at 1230GMT (8:30 a.m. EDT).

Flights around the world have been canceled and passengers stranded as the ash cloud affected operations at some of the world's busiest airports, including London's Heathrow.

The ash is spewing from a volcano beneath Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier that began erupting Wednesday for the second time in less than a month.

At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, flights heading to and arriving from London were canceled Thursday and Friday, officials said. RDU offers one direct flight into and out of London each day.

Michael Jones arrived home in Raleigh late Thursday after a 15-hour day of traveling home from London.

"We ended up getting rerouted, so we went from London to Boston to New York and to Raleigh," he said. "Myself and a colleague were the last two people that actually made it out of London to get here to the U.S."

Michael Savitt with Beeline Travel in Raleigh says his company had some clients who had to change their plans and other who were stranded.

“I’ve been in this business 25, 26 years, and I don’t recall another situation where a volcano eruption affected flight to such a wide degree,” Savitt said.