A flight from Vancouver landed at London Heathrow airport marking the reopening of all of Britain’s airspace for the first time since last Thursday.
After the unprecedented shut down of most of northern Europe’s airports due to an ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano, Britain’s major international hub was back in business late last night.
It followed a decision by the UK’s aviation body to reverse guidelines, clearing the way for airlines to operate.
London had lagged behind many of its neighbours, France’s Charles de Gaulle had been allowing some planes to land earlier on Tuesday.
Air France now says it plans to run all long haul flights, although some trips to the northern most parts of Europe remain suspended.
In Germany airspace was being reopened more gradually from eight am local time.
With millions of passengers stranded all over the world and airlines forecasting staggering cash losses, pressure had been growing to get things moving.
An analysis of new evidence based on airline test flights showing a greater plane tolerance of the ash has triggered the re-think.
Although it will take days if not weeks to get things back to normal.