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Some UK flights take off, but not many

20.04.10

A small number of UK flights took off today after five days of disruption, but a second volcanic ash cloud from Iceland hit plans to reopen the UK's airspace, with the opportunities to run flights at many UK airports short-lived, and only a handful of planes taking off.

Air traffic control company NATS said airspace in Scotland the north of England would remain open until 01:00 tomorrow. It is also allowing flights between open airports in Scotland and northern England, and those open in mainland Europe, and allowed ‘overflights’ - flights that pass over UK airspace at an altitude above 20,000 feet. This has allowed some flights between Europe and the Middle East and North America to take off.

The first planes from Edinburgh and Glasgow both headed for Stornoway after 07:00 - among a handful of internal flights scheduled from Scotland. Belfast Airport hoped to start flights to Scotland from 10:00. But NATS said a new ash cloud was causing uncertainty and there was now a worsening situation in some areas. As conditions are constantly changing, passengers have been advised not travel to the airports until they have checked with their airline or tour operator.

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