Ash plume from Eyjafjallajokull Volcano, Iceland63.5N 19.8W
Europe’s air travel chaos deepened on Saturday as a huge cloud of volcanic ash spread southeast across the continent, halting more than three in four flights and stranding tens of thousands of passengers worldwide.
European aviation agency Eurocontrol said no landings or takeoffs were possible for civilian aircraft in most of northern and central Europe because of the ash spewed out by the Icelandic volcano, which was still erupting.
Many countries closed airspace until Sunday or Monday and weather experts forecast the cloud would not move far. They said the plume of ash could even become more concentrated on Tuesday and Wednesday, posing a greater threat to air travel.
The plume that floated through the upper atmosphere, where it could wreak havoc on jet engines and airframes, is costing airlines more than $200 million a day.