Europe's volcanic nightmare continues

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Europe's volcanic nightmare continues

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The ash spewing out of a volcano in Iceland is
continuing to wreak havoc with millions of air passengers’ plans for a fourth day. Almost all of Europe’s main airports remain closed.

More than three quarters of flights were halted yesterday with predictions that the travel hell could drag on for days as the cloud lingers over the continent. It has resulted in travel misery for those stranded at airports.

So far, more than 20 countries have been severely disrupted, with some bans in place until Monday. Some experts have warned that the volcanic dust could become more concentrated on Tuesday and Wednesday before winds start dispersing the plume.

The particles pose a serious abrasive risk to aircraft, stripping vital aerodynamic surfaces and paralysing engines.

However, Dutch airline KLM and Germany’s Lufthansa yesterday carried out test flights. Both airlines said the planes appeared undamaged. It is a small glimmer of hope that maybe the worst disruption since the 2001 9/11 attacks could have an end in sight.

But, with scientists saying the eruption coming from Volcano Eyjafjallajokull could intensify and even last for months, there are fears that more unprecedented travel chaos is on the horizon.