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Virgin Atlantic flight diverted over Iceland volcano

A flight from London Heathrow to San Francisco was rerouted away from the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland as a "precautionary measure", after it began erupting, a Virgin Atlantic spokesman has said.

Safety and security is always our top priority.

All other Virgin Atlantic flights continue to operate as normal, but we are advising all customers to visit our website for the latest information.

We continue to closely monitor the situation and we are in ongoing dialogue with all of the relevant authorities.

– Virgin Atlantic

Met Office 'in close contact' with Iceland over volcano

The Met Office has been in "close contact" with Iceland's Meterological Office, after it issued a red alert for the country's Bardabunga volcano which began erupting today. A spokeswoman said:

We are in close contact with the Icelandic Met Office, but currently they tell us that the eruptions are sub-glacial, so no ash has made it to the surface.

If ash does make it to the surface, we will run our model which will indicate where any ash would go, and we will inform the CAA and Nats. They will then make the decision on how that will affect any air flights.

– Met Office

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Aviation body 'better prepared' for Iceland volcano

Aviation chiefs are confident that the UK is much better prepared to deal with a potential ash cloud crisis than it was four years ago.

Volcanic ash can adversely affect aircraft in a number of ways. Jet aircraft engines in particular are susceptible to damage from volcanic ash.

That's why there are comprehensive safety arrangements in place. As a result of the work that has been undertaken since the 2010 ash crisis and arrangements that have been put in place since, we are confident that high levels of public safety can be maintained, while minimising disruption.

– Civil Aviation Authority

Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano 'erupting'

An air traffic monitoring site has reported that plumes of smoke have become "visible" from the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland, after the country raised its aviation alert to red.

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Iceland's #Bardarbunga volcano has erupted. So far, air traffic ban is limited although situation is being monitored http://t.co/s0XSz6oxTf

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easyJet 'puts contingency plans in action' over volcano

easyJet said it is putting its contingency plans into action following a volcanic eruption in Iceland.

"As things stand there are no changes to easyJet's flying programme, including flights to and from Iceland," a spokesperson for the airline said.

easyJet plane
easyJet said it is putting its contingency plans into action. Credit: PA

The budget airline said it is using specialist technology to ensure any ash created by the eruption is detected and chartered.

UK air traffic control body 'monitoring Iceland volcano'

Aviation authorities in the UK are closely monitoring the fall out from a volcanic eruption in Iceland, where planes have been put on high alert.

UK's air traffic control organisation said that it will help determine what impact the eruption will have for operations in UK airspace, advising airline customers accordingly.

NATS is monitoring the situation and working in close collaboration with the Met Office, Department for Transport and our safety regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, as this dynamic situation develops further.

– Spokeswoman, NATS

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Small eruption detected under Iceland glacier

A 4.5 magnitude earthquake took place today in Iceland, forcing the country to raise its aviation alert for the Bardarbunga volcano to red.

According to the Icelandic Met Office:

  • A small lava-eruption has been detected under the Dyngjujökull glacier.
  • The Icelandic Coast Guard airplane TF-SIF is flying over the area with representatives from the Civil Protection and experts from the Icelandic Met Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences. Data from the equipment on board is expected later today.
  • Data from radars and web-cameras is being received, showing no signs of changes at the surface.
  • The estimate is that 150-400 metres of ice is above the area.
  • The aviation colour code for the Bárðarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red.
  • At around 2pm local time (3.04pm GMT), an earthquake occurred, estimated 4.5 in magnitude.

Iceland volcano ash depends on 'thickness of ice'

The amount of ash produced by the Bardarbunga volcano would depend on the thickness of the ice, Icelandic Met Office vulcanologist Melissa Pfeffer has said, after Iceland raised its aviation alert to red.

Seismologists say magma is moving under the glacier but so far has travelled horizontally at a depth of three to six miles. The volcano will erupt if the magma rises and melts the ice above.

The thicker the ice, the more water there is, the more explosive it will be and the more ash-rich the eruption will be.

– Melissa Pfeffer, Icelandic Met Office vulcanologist

Iceland volcano eruption 'imminent or in progress'

A red warning suggests eruption is imminent or in progress
A red warning suggests eruption is imminent or in progress Credit: Icelandic Met Office

Iceland has raised its aviation alert for the restless Bardarbunga volcano to red, indicating that some type of eruption is imminent or in progress.

Thousands of small earthquakes have rattled the volcano deep beneath Iceland's Vatnajokull glacier in the last week, with activity picking up today after a lull the day before.

The eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokul volcano in 2010 produced an ash cloud that caused international aviation chaos, with more than 100,000 flights cancelled.

UK 'confident' Icelandic volcano will not disrupt flights

UK aviation bosses said they are "confident" air travellers will not face a repeat of the severe ash cloud, which grounded flights in 2010, should Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano erupt.

Iceland's authorities have already evacuated the area after geologists said about 300 earthquakes had been detected there since Tuesday.

More than 100,000 flights were cancelled when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010.
More than 100,000 flights were cancelled when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010. Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

When Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted European air space was shut down for six days causing travel chaos and losses of £2 million.

But UK air traffic control company Nats and the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the UK is much better prepared to deal with any ash cloud crisis than four years ago.

A Nats spokeswoman said: "We are monitoring the situation in Iceland and we don't know how serious it will get and just where any ash cloud will travel if the volcano erupts.

"Even in a worst-case scenario we are in a much better position to deal with this than we were in 2010."

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