“in a sense it’s been erupting already for almost a month.”

RTÉ reports that European transport ministers are due to hold a special video conference today to discuss the continuing flight restrictions across Europe and the BBC notes that three Royal Navy ships are heading for “Spain and unspecified Channel ports”. There’s more coverage, including maps of the spread of the ash cloud, at the BBC here. And, via the Professor, here’s a short video converted from the Norwegian Meteorological Office’s original animated gif [14Mb] by The Map Room – “Yellow indicates ash that has fallen by itself, red ash that has fallen as a result of precipitation, and black where the ash cloud is at that moment in time.” It’s still unclear how long the ash cloud will continue to cause problems.
Update From a BBC report

The EU has moved to ease air travel curbs imposed after much of Europe’s airspace was closed because of the spread of volcanic ash from Iceland. Transport ministers said there would be a core no-fly area, another open to all flights and a third zone available for a limited service.

Adds Or maybe not – “The volcano eruption in Iceland has strengthened and a new ash cloud is spreading south and east towards the UK.”

  • Pete Baker

    Update From a BBC report

    The EU has moved to ease air travel curbs imposed after much of Europe’s airspace was closed because of the spread of volcanic ash from Iceland. Transport ministers said there would be a core no-fly area, another open to all flights and a third zone available for a limited service.

    Adds Or maybe not – “The volcano eruption in Iceland has strengthened and a new ash cloud is spreading south and east towards the UK.”

  • Just a word or so, confided (not in a whisper) by a lawyer into my shell-like ear:

    The airlines are frustrated: they see themselves in a vice between circumstances and aggravated customers (who, especially in the case of BA, are still unforgiving over recent stoppages).

    The airlines need a scapegoat: so it’s blame the messenger time. In such cases, it is usual to pile the ordure on political-decision makers (particularly so if a degree of bluster, in a highly-politicised moment, wins pledges of compensation). First they blamed what was largely their own creature, NATS (where the government is the minority shareholder: it is 46% owned by the airlines themselves and BAA). Now it’s the Met Office, a commercial arm of the Defence Ministry.

    Yet, and here comes the musing of m’learned friend: what about the say-so of the insurers? If (say) BA or another airline pulls rank, flies passengers, yet is warned by its insurers that the operations are not covered, what logically ensues?