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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:37 am

Ash from Iceland volcano disrupts European flights

LONDON — British airport operator BAA says all flights in and out of Heathrow and Stansted airports are to be suspended shortly because of ash clouds drifting from Iceland's spewing volcano.

Hundreds of flights across Britain have already been canceled, and airports in Scotland closed. Heathrow is Europe's busiest airport, with more than 1,200 flights a day.

A spokeswoman for BAA said Thursday the decision was being made "
due to airspace restrictions, in accordance with international regulations."
Flights are to be suspended from 1100GMT (8 a.m. EDT).

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

LONDON (AP) — Ash clouds drifting from Iceland's spewing volcano disrupted air traffic across Northern Europe on Thursday as airports shut down and carriers canceled hundreds of flights in Britain, Ireland and the Nordic countries.

In Iceland, hundreds have fled from floodwaters rising since the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier erupted Wednesday for the second time in less than a month. As water gushed down the mountainside, rivers had risen by up to 10 feet (3 meters) by Wednesday night.

The volcano was sending up smoke and ash that posed "
a significant safety threat to aircraft,"
Britain's National Air Traffic Service said, as visibility is compromised and debris can get sucked into airplane engines.

In Britain, flight were suspended in the English cities of Manchester and Birmingham, as well as in Northern Ireland's Belfast and the Scottish airports at Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Europe's busiest airport — London's Heathrow — had at least 150 flights canceled, while London's Gatwick airport had 138 canceled by 8 a.m. (0700 GMT).

Most of the cancellations involved flights to and from northern airports.

"
I think I might cry,"
said Ann Cochrane, 58, of Toronto, one of the passengers stranded in Glasgow. "
I just wish I was on a beach in Mexico."


In northern Sweden all air traffic was suspended, affecting the cities of Skelleftea, Lulea, Kiruna and Hemavan, the national aviation authority said.

Air traffic in northern Finland was also halted.

Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja — who had planned to fly Thursday to Copenhagen for the Danish queen's 70th birthday — were looking to take a "
car, boat or train"
after the Norwegian airport operator Avinor said it was closing all commercial airspace, royal family spokesman Sven Gjeruldsen said.

A canceled trans-Atlantic flight left Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg grounded in New York, where he had been meeting with Norwegian businessmen.

Ireland's low-cost airline Ryanair canceled all of its flights in and out of Britain through Thursday, but said it would try to operate some flights out of southern Ireland.

The national carrier, Aer Lingus, canceled at least 40 flights in or out of Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Belfast.

Emirates airline said it canceled 10 roundtrip flights between Dubai and Britain on Thursday because of the ash cloud.

The U.S. Geological Survey said about 100 encounters of aircraft with volcanic ash were documented from 1983 to 2000;
in some cases engines shut down briefly after sucking in volcanic debris, but there have been no fatal incidents.

In 1989, a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747 flew into an ash cloud from Alaska's Redoubt volcano and lost all power, dropping from 25,000 feet to 12,000 feet (7,500 meters to 3,600) before the crew could get the engines restarted. The plane landed safely.

In another incident in the 1980s, a British Airways 747 flew into a dust cloud and the grit sandblasted the windscreen. The pilot had to stand and look out a side window to land safely.

Volcanic ash is formed from explosive eruptions. Particles as hard as a knife blade range in size from as small as 0.001 millimeters (1/25,000 inch) to 2 millimeters (1/12 inch), the Geological Survey says.

Ash can melt in the heat of an aircraft engine and then solidify again, disrupting the mechanics, the agency says.

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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:39 am

Volcanic ash forces airlines into mass cancellations

British Airways is offering full refunds or re-bookings for passengers whose flights have been cancelled due to disruption caused by ash from the volcanic eruption in Iceland.

BA said it would not be able to operate flights after 11.30 today from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City Airport.

All BA domestic services have already been cancelled today (Thursday).

Ryanair cancelled all flights to and from the UK from 09.00.

Flybe stopped flights from 09.30 affecting 24,764 passengers who will be offered alternative flights or refunds. Only 11 out of 565 flights operated today from the 38 UK airports the airline uses.

"
For safety reasons and on the direction from Air Traffic Control Service (NATS) a decision has been made to cancel a number of flights and close all London airports,"
BA said.

"
As a result all airlines will be impacted and we will therefore not be able to operate services after 11.30 from London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London City."


The measures came as the plume of volcanic ash spread southwards towards northern Europe and is "
severely affecting"
all airlines' flights in the area, BA's website said.

Passengers are being advised to check the status of their flights before leaving for the airport.
ABTA said it is working closely with the relevant authorities and airlines to ensure members are kept informed of the most up-to-date information on the impact of the volcanic ash disruption.

"
Passengers travelling imminently are advised to liaise with their travel provider or airline for the latest information in relation to their travel plans,"
the association said.

Some airlines and tour operators have posted statements on their websites and this information will be updated on a regular basis until the situation returns to normal, at this stage no timescales have been indicated.

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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:43 am

Update from BA

Disruption due to volcanic eruption in Iceland

Summary Last updated: 10:20 15 April 2010

Due to a plume of volcanic ash drifting over the UK, there is severe disruption to our operation today.

Please do not go to the airport if your flight is cancelled.

After 11.30am UK time there will be no departures from any British Airways airport. Many flights before that time have also been affected.

The decision to cancel has been made for safety reasons and on the direction from Air Traffic Control Service (NATS).

ALL airlines will be affected.

You are advised to check the status of your flight before leaving for the airport.

[url=http:
//www.
britishairways.
com/rtad/travel/public/en_gb:f1u5m9sj]Check the status of your flight[/url:f1u5m9sj]

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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:05 pm

[size=75:1y9ndjgd]novinite 15 April 2010

Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud

Flights from Bulgaria to the UK have been cancelled for the whole of Thursday afternoon due to volcanic ash.

Airline passengers are facing massive disruption across the UK after an ash cloud from a volcanic eruption in Iceland grounded planes.

The Air Traffic Control Service (Nats) said no flights would be allowed in or out of UK airspace from midday to 1800BST amid fears of engine damage.

Airports operator BAA confirmed all flights at Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick would be suspended from midday.

And in Scotland, authorities have already shut all their airports, the BBC reported.

The restrictions, in accordance with international civil aviation policy, were imposed after the Met Office warned ash could clog engines.

Passengers from around the world were advised to contact their carriers prior to travel.

Experts have warned that the tiny particles of rock, glass and sand contained in the ash cloud would be sufficient to jam aircraft engines.

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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:47 pm

[size=75:3ioanh9v]novinite 15 April 2010

Bulgaria Flights Canceled to Northern Europe over Volcanic Ash

Flights from Bulgaria to most of northern Europe have been canceled over volcanic ash drifting south and east from Iceland.

Airspace was closed or flights canceled in countries including the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

The ash, which can damage aeroplane engines, was produced by a volcanic eruption under a glacier in Iceland.

Flooding was reported as the glacier melted, and up to 800 people were evacuated from the area on Wednesday.

By Thursday afternoon, the UK had shut its airspace and other countries, from Belgium to Scandinavia, were in the process of following suit.

Airspace was shut down to all but emergency flights from midday (1100 GMT) on Thursday to 0700 BST (0600 GMT) on Friday, at the earliest. It was also closed in Ireland.

"
Volcanic ash represents a significant safety threat to aircraft,"
said the UK's Air Traffic Control Service (Nats).

Oslo airport, which is Norway's largest, was closed on Thursday morning, meaning Norwegian airspace was completely closed.

Belgium, Sweden and Denmark announced they would be shutting their entire airspace, northern Finland was closed and the Netherlands was being closed progressively.

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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:52 pm

my word what is going on with the world today there is one upheaval/disaster after another.

Oddy

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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:27 am

Just checked gatwick for a client and now flights cancelled until 7pm tonight UK time.
I know another girl here in BG was supposed to fly and my cousins and another friend are in Spain trying to get to the UK. There is gonn be such a back up after this.

Saying that, saw a programme once on how volcanic ash can affect a plane, so who cares, wouldn't want to fly in that leathal stuff!!!!!

Hi Oddy, read an article yesterday that asked that question, doesn't there seem to be more earthquakes at the moment?? The experts say that the number of earthquakes are about right but more are striking in residential areas and causing more damage, this is why there seems to be more in general.

Our Earth seems to be a little angry at the moment!!!!!!!

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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:31 am

[size=75:10381j4x]novinite 16 April 2010

Iceland Volcano Brings Bulgaria Air Traffic to Standstill

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[size=75:10381j4x]Stranded passengers on temporary beds at Frankfurt am Main International airport in Germany

Most of the flights to and from Sofia Airport are canceled Friday over the drifting ash ejected from a volcano in Iceland, the airport Director, Plamen Stanchev, informs.

Flights to and from London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dortmund, Zurich and Paris are canceled and the annulment of flights to Frankfurt and Milan is also pending, Stanchev says, adding the passengers have been very patient and orderly while international airlines have been extremely organized and there are no long lines at counters.

Hundreds of thousands of passengers are affected and severe disruptions could extend to many days to come, including flights to North America and Asia over the volcano’s continuous ejection of ash and smoke while scientist say they do not expect the volcanic activity to end in the next few days. The ash cloud is moving 500 meters above ground and is expected to reach Moscow at some point Friday. It will pass over Bucharest Friday afternoon, but it should not go over Bulgaria.

The forecast, however, is subject to change, according to the airport Director, and flights will continue to be delayed and canceled as long as the volcano is active and until the cloud dissipates.

According to Stanchev, the strong wind and the heavy rain can help in the latter, but it is possible for the predicted 6-month volcano activity to bring air traffic to a standstill for the entire period.

Passengers, who decide to not reschedule the canceled flights, will be reimbursed.

Stanchev advises all travelers, for whose flights a decision is yet to be made, to arrive at the airport about an hour and a half before the scheduled flight time.

Information about delays and cancellations can be obtained at the airport, on the phone and through the airport webpage.

Flights to and from the other two major Bulgarian airports – in the Black Sea cities of Varna and Burgas have also been cancelled Friday.

Meanwhile, the Russian information agency ITAR-TASS reports the cloud had reached the northwestern part of Russia, in the area of Murmansk.

Following the closure of airspace and airports in more than 8 EU counties including Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, due the volcanic eruption in Iceland, the European Commission Vice President and Transport Commissioner, Siim Kallas, said that even in exceptional circumstances EU passenger rights continue to apply and air travelers should speak up to claim their rights.

The EU passenger rights that apply in this situation are: the right to receive information from airlines (e.g. on your rights, on the situation as it evolves, cancellations and length of delays: the right to care (refreshments, meals, accommodation as appropriate);
the right to chose between reimbursement of fares or be re-routed to final destination

In an exceptional circumstance such as this, passengers are not however entitled to additional financial compensation that would be the case where delays or cancellations are the fault of the airline.

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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:36 am

Hi all

Got an update from a client of ours who was supposed to fly back to the Gatwick, UK with Easyjet tonight.

She had been ringing the UK all of yesterday and this morning and could not get through to anyone. She rang flight information at Sofia airport, got through very quickly and was given the number for easy Jet Sofia. She rang and they re booked her on the same time flight for Monday night. She said the people at both the airport and the airline were very helpful.

(+3592) 937-2211
(+3592) 937-2212
(+3592) 937-2213

Easy Jet did say that if the flight they offered was not ok, they could find another airline who could take them and then claim back the cost from Easy Jet. Our client said by the time they’d rang round and then started the claim, it was easier to just go with what they offer as the flights will probably get booked up very quickly.

The latest news I've seen is that the earliest that flights could resume is 1am Saturday. We'll see!

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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:36 pm

[size=75:1re2urv9]Sofia echo 16 April 2010

EU reminder: Passenger rights still apply despite ash cloud disruption

The eruption of a volcano in the Eyjafjallajoekull region in Iceland, which has disrupted air travel throughout Europe, was an uncommon event, but that alone did not mean that passenger rights were being cancelled along with their flights, the European Commission said on April 16.

EC vice-president and transport commissioner Siim Kallas praised national authorities for their "
swift and appropriate action to safeguard the public"
by closing airspace and airports, as well as the "
excellent co-ordination and co-operation at European level."


"
But even in exceptional circumstances EU passenger rights continue to apply and air travellers should speak up to claim their rights,"
he said in a statement.

"
This is a situation which is causing immense difficulties for passengers travelling throughout Europe. It can be considered a very exceptional circumstance. Nevertheless, it is important to remind passengers and airlines that EU passenger rights do apply in this situation,"
Kallas said.

That included the right to receive information from airline on flight delays and cancellations;
the right to care, which meant refreshments, meals or accommodation;
and the right to chose between reimbursement of fares or be re-routed to final destination.

However, since the flight delays and cancellations were attributable to exceptional circumstances, rather than a fault of the airlines, the passengers were not entitled to additional financial compensation, the EC statement said.

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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:53 pm

I would advise anyone booking any flights in the future to book with a credit card as you are protected should such situations arise;
I understand no frills airline are not accepting responsibilites or refund for cancellation to fly passangers should such situations arise. Also people on flight only are not protected by ATOL, so take my advise and book with a credit card, I always do and this is the only reason I have a credit card for insurance.
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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:07 pm

[size=75:2jo5rak5]novinite 17 April 2010

All But 2 Outbound Sofia Airport Flights Canceled over Volcanic Cloud

Only two of the dozens of outbound flights, which were supposed to take off from Bulgaria’s largest airport, have not been canceled, Sofia Airport officials told Novinite.com.

As the airspace over much of Europe has been closed because of the volcanic ash cloud that resulted from a recent eruption in Iceland, only two regular and two charter flights will take off from Sofia.

All flights to Milan, Vienna, Manchester, London, Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Venice, Warsaw, Zurich, Bucharest, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague have been canceled, the airport administration said.

Only the flights Sofia-Barcelona at 16:50 and Sofia-Valencia at 17:00 have not been canceled and will take off as scheduled. The same goes for the two Bulgaria Air charter flights to Cairo, Egypt, scheduled to take off at 17:30 and 17:40.

The only flights that took off from Sofia earlier on Saturday were to Madrid, Rome, Athens, and Moscow.

Media access to information about the situation of the passengers was not duly facilitated by the Sofia Airport administration because no one from the media relations department of the airport is available on Saturdays and Sundays.

The airport official who talked to Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) said there are no problems with huge crowds of people gathered at the Airport, and that there are only people arriving to reschedule their flights. That is largely due to the fact that the news about the volcanic ash cloud over Europe has been known for several days.

She was unable to provide any information with respect to the accommodation of the passengers whose flights have been canceled.

The Sofia Airport does not yet have information as to which of the flights scheduled for Sunday, April 18, may be canceled. In accordance with the meteorological forecasts, the airport administration expects that at the beginning of next week, the outbound flights will return to their regular schedule.

Information about the departures and arrivals is available at the Sofia Airport website [url=http:
//www.
sofia-airport.
bg/pages/departures.
aspx?lm01=103&lm02=51&lm03=52&p=5:2jo5rak5]HERE[/url:2jo5rak5]

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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:08 pm

[size=75:2zx7ekl1]novinite 17 April 2010

All Flights at Bulgaria's Varna Airport Canceled over Volcanic Ash

The only two flights that were supposed to take off from Bulgaria's Black Sea airport Varna have been canceled because of the Iceland volcano ash cloud over Europe.

Both outbound international flights – Varna-Vienna and Varna-Budapest have been canceled. So have been the two inbound flights to Varna from Vienna and Budapest.

Unlike the much busier Sofia Airport, the situation at the Varna Airport is rather relaxed as Saturday is the least busy day there. Most of the regularly scheduled flights to and from Varna are on workdays, and even Sundays are busier than Saturdays.

The Varna Airport services a lot of charter flights but few of those have been scheduled yet as they appear mostly during the height of the summer tourist season May to September.

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PostSubject: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:32 pm

[size=75:2d5t3hlz]novinite 19 April 2010

Bulgaria Shuts Plovdiv Airport as Volcanic Ash Moves South

Bulgaria's Plovdiv Airport was closed as of 11 pm Sunday because the Iceland volcanic ash cloud has moved slightly to the south, the Transport Ministry announced.

Thus, the Sofia Airport of the capital remains the only major Bulgarian airport in operation.

Earlier Sunday night, the Transport Ministry announced the cloud of volcanic ash, which has disrupted severely air traffic across Europe, was moving to the north of Bulgaria.

On Sunday, the Ministry closed Bulgaria's air space but in the afternoon decided to reopen the airports in Sofia and Plovdiv as the cloud, which resulted from the eruption of a volcano in Iceland, reached only the northern parts of the country.

Bulgaria's air traffic service had announced that the country's airspace north of the Belogradchik (in Northwest Bulgaria)- Svilengrad (in Southeast Bulgaria) line remains closed. However, the cloud has shifted slightly to the south affecting the air space of the city of Plovdiv.

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PostSubject: Re: Bulgaria Flights to UK Cancelled over Volcanic Cloud   Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:11 pm

[size=85:2d1sc6fe]Sofia echo 20 April 2010

Europe opens its airspace as another volcanic cloud threatens more chaos over the UK

European airspace is now partially open with a small number of flights resuming from northern Europe on the sixth day of the "
volcano blockade"
. New violent volcanic activity, however, and a new volcanic cloud drifting south and east over the UK, have kept British airports mostly closed.

This means that there are still more than 400 000 Britons stranded by the Icelandic volcano eruption, while about 40 000 American citizens desperate to fly to the US are stuck in the UK.

Sofia airport is operating with flights to and from Vienna, Istanbul, Moscow, Athens and Bucharest.

Previously scheduled flights from London to Sofia, Easy Jet flight EZY8973, Brussels flight by Wizz Air W6622, Munich flights of Lufthansa and United, LH3434 and UA9246 respectively, and an Easy Jet flight EZY2671 inbound from Milan, have all been cancelled.

Departures from Sofia to London, Easyjet Ezy8974 and a Wizz Air flight W6649 to Venice have also been cancelled.

With new volcanic cloud descending over the UK, it is still unclear when British authorities will allow their airports to open, which will cause considerable stress for those still stranded in Bulgaria wishing to leave for the UK or vice-versa.

Initially, authorities were hoping that Heathrow airport would open from 9pm Bulgarian time on April 20. UK air traffic control body, Nats, said the flight ban would be lifted over Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England, but those hopes also seem to have been dashed.

"
This demonstrates the dynamic and rapidly changing conditions in which we are working,"
said a statement from Nats, quoted by the BBC.

According to the UK Daily Mail, weather experts were subjected to "
hostile attacks"
from air carriers, who were accusing them of spreading panic and publishing false information.

Newcastle International Airport said it planned to re-open for flights to and from Aberdeen and the Isle of Man at 9am Bulgarian time.

Easyjet said it would operate a "
very limited service"
from late afternoon on April 20.

Meanwhile, Manchester Airport, which initially contemplated opening at 11am Bulgarian time, has decided against, on advice from Nats.

So in many cases, the situation remains largely as it was the previous five days. Passengers are advised to contact their airline before travelling to the airports, particularly if those airports are in the UK.

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