Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Delays and cancellations in UK

British airports have woken up Tuesday with delays and cancellations due to the impact of Icelandic volcanic cloud that has grounded hundreds of flights in Scotland and in Ulster and now threatens the airspace of the five London airports. British Transport Minister, Philip Hammond has warned that it is impossible to predict the position of the cloud in the coming hours and pointed out that airlines are not the government make the decision to cancel or flight.

"We will not see a complete shutdown as last year," said Hammond, "but it is possible that in the short term we see the closure of some airports." On Tuesday, hardly have been flying in Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Nor have flown propeller planes that connect these four cities to small airfields in the Hebrides.

Airlines such as British Airways, Flybe, KLM and Easyjet have suspended all flights to Scotland at least until noon and only fly BMI has announced that after consulting with the manufacturer of the engines of their planes. At the edge of 11.00, Aberdeen Airport has announced that it will reopen after two in the afternoon.

But it remains to be seen whether they can take off many of its flights because most heading south and in the expedition might have traces of volcanic ash. The tag has not affected only flights that fly to Scotland from London. The Irish Aviation Authority has forced Aer Lingus and Ryanair to suspend all flights to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The decision has not liked to the airline president Michael O'Leary, who has been willing to keep flying and has warned he will file a formal complaint with the Irish Government. "Ryanair believes that there is a security risk for their flights to Scotland and from Scotland," says a statement on its official website.

It is not the first time that Ryanair complains of restrictions. Last year their president was one of the most critical leadership to the management of the crisis and this year had said he saw the situation with optimism and hoped that regulators this year "not back to shit." The UK regulator has warned that many airlines have implemented plans to operate a medium density volcanic cloud but not as dense as a cloud that was installed Tuesday in British airspace.

The authorities insist they have learned lessons from the chaos of last year. But that concern has not prevented hundreds of thousands of passengers who have tickets to go in the coming days by one of five London airports. Among them, the thousands of Barca fans who have to watch this Saturday's final of the Champions League at Wembley.

For now, the authorities hoped to keep afloat the flights in the airports of London. Transatlantic flights are not canceled but are subject to a two-hour delay. The airport operator BAA, owned by Spanish company Ferrovial, has warned that enabled all the protocols so as not to repeat last year's chaos.

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