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Volcanic ash cloud closes German airports

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Volcanic ash cloud closes German airports


Airports in northern Germany closed on Wednesday due to the volcanic ash cloud emanating from Iceland.

Flights were cancelled at Hamburg, Bremen and Berlin, but all are expected to resume during the day. Air safety authorities had warned that ash concentrations in northern Germany had reached safety limits.

European countries are now taking a more measured approach when making decisions, after a similar volcanic eruption last year wreaked chaos in Europe’s airports. Siim Kallas, EU Transport Commissioner, said:

“One year on, some lessons have been learnt. Whilst fully respecting the imperative of safety, Europe is now equipped to respond with a graduated response rather than a one-size-fits-all approach”.

Thousands of Scottish travellers faced cancellations on Tuesday, with Glasgow and Edinburgh airports badly affected. As flights resume, the challenge now is to clear the backlog, whilst assuring the public that the danger from the ash cloud has subsided.

Travel journalist Simon Calder is hoping for a consistent approach. “Ultimately we want certainty: is it safe or isn’t it? The fact that you’ve got some planes flying and some not, of course, is going to make some passengers anxious,” he said.

Traveller anxiety may be understandable in the face of conflicting information. Dublin-based airline Ryanair claimed on Tuesday to have flown a plane through ash-affected Scottish airspace without encountering problems.

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