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Air traffic in Europe

Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano has thrown European air traffic and worldwide long-haul flights into chaos and confusion since Friday, April 15.

Here on euronews - follow the latest developments in this unprecedented crisis - its impact on passengers and ultimately, the effect it will have on the global economy.

The ash cloud on April 20th

Situation at a glance

About 80 percent of flights in Europe were expected to have taken place on Wednesday while Thursday's level will be almost 100 percent, European air traffic agency Eurocontrol said.

The economic impact of the cloud has already hit parts of the supply chain and could potentially dent the fragile recovery from the global recession.

Health

The European Commission is checking whether the volcanic ash cloud over Europe could have any impact on people's health but has no concerns for now.
Ash particles from Iceland's still-erupting volcano remain high in the atmosphere and do not pose a health risk so far to people in Europe, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.
Toning down its guidance from Friday, when it said the ash cloud that has grounded flights could be "very dangerous" for those with asthma and respiratory problems, the WHO said there was no cause for public health alarm so far.

The World Meteorological Organisation, which like the WHO is based in Geneva, said on Tuesday that the ash particles are made up of small jagged pieces of rocks, minerals and volcanic glass the size of sand, salt or silt.
The smallest particles tend to stay in the atmosphere longest. Such fine particles are normally dispersed by thunderstorms which are not expected in the region in the coming days. A low pressure weather system is expected to develop over Iceland later this week, potentially pushing the cloud towards the Arctic and prompting rain to "wash out" the ash.
The United Nations agency said the fine particles of ash were not harmful as long as they remained into the upper atmosphere but could be more problematic if they fell to earth.

Click here for national updates and here for the list of Europe's main airports.

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Ash cloud dispersion calculation
animated map by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute
> See the full size image Ash cloud dispersion calculation by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute

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If you are stuck but have access to the internet, go to twitter and use the hashtag #getmehome to find (or offer) a car to share or a solution for a night sleep.

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