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Main developments:

  • Irish air space reopened last night
  • Three days for full services to resume
  • Ryanair flights cancelled until tomorrow
  • Aer Lingus services to resume at 1pm

23.03 British air traffic controllers said they had handled about 80% of normal flight levels by 6pm. They added traffic levels were expected to approach 90% from 7pm tomorrow morning.

23.01 Singer Whitney Houston decided not to join the thousands of travellers returning to the skies today, opting to leave Ireland how she arrived - by car ferry.

The singer joined passengers on Stena Line's 11.45am sailing from Belfast to Stranraer after the latest leg of her world tour.

20.39 Watch Patricia Barton from the Commission on Aviation Regulation on this evening's Six One News where she outlines what stranded passengers are entitled to.

19.41 bmi, British Midland International, will operate a full schedule between Dublin and London Heathrow tomorrow, Thursday 22 April.

BD121, BD123, BD129 and BD131 will all depart London Heathrow for Dublin on schedule.

BD122, BD124, BD130 and BD132 will all depart Dublin for London Heathrow on schedule.

19.27 More than 280 British civilians and 440 troops arrived back in the UK today on board a Royal Navy amphibious assault ship after being stranded in Spain.

HMS Albion docked at Portsmouth Naval Base this evening having picked up its load of passengers from Santander yesterday.

18.52 A massive logistical operation is under way across Spain to get around 2,200 British tourists stranded by the Icelandic ash cloud onto a new cruise ship.

Coaches are already on the road to Bilbao to meet up with the 122,000-tonne Celebrity Eclipse, which is due to dock there at 6.30am tomorrow.

18.45 Ryanair has today released extra routes for Friday 23 April to/from Birmingham, Dublin, Edinburgh, London Stansted and Liverpool which Ryanair passengers, who have been disrupted due to airspace closures, can now transfer to using Manage My Booking.

A limited number of seats will also be available to passengers who opted for a refund from Ryanair, but still find themselves disrupted, for a special one way fare of €100 (plus taxes and charges) on .

London STN: To/from Alicante/Malaga
Liverpool: To/from Malaga
Birmingham: To/from Malaga/Tenerife
Edinburgh: To/from Malaga/Tenerife
Dublin: To/from Lanzarote

18.39 Speaking on RTÉ's Six One News, Patricia Barton from the Commission on Aviation Regulation outlined the rights of passengers who have been affected by the disruption.

More information is available on the Commission's website.

The interview will appear here later.

18.29 The chief executive of the Irish Aviation Authority insisted that there was no over-reaction on the part of authorities to close Irish air-space. Eamon Brennan said the skies could close again if there was another eruption

18.26 All CityJet flights to London City are available tomorrow, 22 April. Any customers already booked to fly will be able to travel.

Seats are also available for customers wishing to travel tomorrow and the next week on

The full departure schedule from Dublin includes: 06:45; 07:35; 08:55; 13:05; 16:20; 17:20; and 18:50.

17.57 Aer Lingus Flight Schedule for Thursday 22 April 2010

Aer Lingus has confirmed that all flights between Ireland and the UK, Europe and US are scheduled to operate tomorrow, Thursday 22 April.

Additional capacity will be deployed with a total number of 2,000 extra seats to accommodate the maximum number of passengers travelling on the following routes; Tenerife, Las Palmas, Malaga, Barcelona, Lisbon, Naples, Venice, Milan and Dubrovnik.

Extra flights have also been scheduled to accommodate passengers travelling between Dublin and Catania in Sicily, and between Dublin and Fuerteventura.

Flight No From To Departure Arrival
EI 2460 Dublin Catania 06:20 09:55
EI 2461 Catania Dublin 10:55 14:50
EI 2770 Dublin Fuerteventura 16:10 20:20
EI 2771 Fuerteventura Dublin 21:40 01:30

17.46 Airline bmi said it would operate 90% of its international flights out of Heathrow tomorrow and 50% of its domestic services from the west London airport.

Dubai-based carrier Emirates said it would operate four additional flights from the UK in the next 24 hours.

17.44 The head of Britain's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said he 'made no apology' for the fact that the flight ban had been imposed for so long, stressing that safety had to be the priority.

17.40 The Heathrow Express train service has extended its service to a 24 hour operation today to ensure that passengers affected by the flight restrictions can make it to and from the airport. London's Gatwick airport is also being served by a 24 hour train service.

17.30 P&O Irish Sea services on the Dublin - Liverpool route are currently operating on schedule.

Next departures from Terminal 3, Dublin Port, opposite the O2, are at 2130 tonight Wednesday, 0930 and 2130 Thurs.

While remaining space on night sailings ex Dublin and Liverpool is limited at present, there is still some space available sailings departing Dublin and Liverpool tomorrow.

Available remaining spaces can be booked via Tel (0044 871) 6644777, Website or Tel (0871) 6644777 if phoning from the UK.

Foot passengers cannot be conveyed on this service.

Scottish Route services from Larne to Cairnryan and Troon are also operating as normal with space available, and reservations can be made as above.

17.26 Almost 100% of flights will operate in Europe tomorrow, European air traffic agency Eurocontrol have said.

Eurocontrol said in a statement it expected 22,500 flights, or 80%, to take place today, compared with about 28,000 that would normally be scheduled.

16.52 Analysis of IAA flight figures up to 15.30 today reveals that traffic today is running at approximately 40%, compared to the same time last year.

16.50 SAS said it expected nearly 75% of its scheduled flights to take off tomorrow and ‘full operations’ a day later.

15.38 The Commission for Aviation Regulation has responded to claims that Ryanair will only reimburse the cost of flights.

15.34 Lufthansa, Europe's largest airline by passenger numbers, will resume its normal flight schedule tomorrow.

15.12 Turkish Airlines services today:

TK1977 Istanbul to Dublin (landed)

TK 1978 Dublin to Istanbul (planned to depart at 15:10)

15.11 Air traffic control company Nats said the airspace over the Shetland and Orkney Islands is to be closed from 1pm to 7pm due to the density of the volcanic ash.

A Nats spokeswoman said: 'They are accepting inbound flights as they have to get all planes on the ground but there will be nothing taking off.'

15.08 European authorities were right to shut down air traffic over the past week, an international volcano expert said today.

Henri Gaudru, a United Nations scientific adviser with 40 years of experience in studying volcanic eruptions, said: 'In the absence of reliable facts, the only thing to do was to stop aircraft from flying, given the risk to planes of suffering serious engine damage, perhaps crashing.'

14.46 Professor Pall Einarsson of the Institute of Earth Sciences has said: 'We don't see any signs at the moment that Katla has been re-awakened by this activity.' (See 13.38)

14.27 Following the opening of UK airspace yesterday evening, Thomas Cook has confirmed that it will resume its normal flight and holiday programme tomorrow.

Customers who are due to travel with Thomas Cook Airlines tomorrow should go to their UK departure airport as scheduled.

14.11 Steve Ridgway, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic Airways, has called for compensation for the airlines and said lessons must be learned from the shutdown.

Mr Ridgway told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme the aviation industry was still 'reeling from the recession' and the latest ban would cost 'hundreds of millions of pounds.'

14.00 The Commission for Aviation Regulation has said that all passengers who are awaiting rescheduled flights with Ryanair are entitled to reimbursement for meals, refreshment and hotel accommodation from the airline.

However, Ryanair's Chief Executive, Michael O'Leary, has said passengers would only have their air fares reimbursed.

On RTÉ's News At One, Mr O'Leary said he expected a court action could arise against Ryanair over the issue, which he would see as an opportunity to expose the unfairness of the regulation.

13.51 Aodhan O’Donnell, Head of Transport at the (UK) Consumer Council has said: 'EU Regulationan states that passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund. However, if they still want to travel airlines must offer a choice between a flight at the earliest opportunity once the restrictions are removed, or a flight at a later date which is convenient for the passenger.'

13.45 Joe Duffy talks to stranded passengers: Listen Live

13.38 Professor Pall Einarsson of the Institute of Earth Sciences said an eruption of Katla, a larger volcano next to Eyjafjallajokull, could unleash floods equal to the size of the Amazon river and possibly again cause an ash plume.

13.34 Ryanair statement:
• Southbound flights from Spain, Southern Italy, Southern France (Marseille), Malta and Morocco continue as normal today.
• All flights in Northern Europe (except flights between Ireland and the UK) to operate as scheduled from 5am Thursday 22 April.
• All flights between Ireland and UK (including domestic routes) will resume normal schedules from 5am Friday 23.
• Ryanair expects more delays and cancellations on Thursday and Friday as Europe’s ATC’s and airports struggle to handle the volume of flights.

13:15 Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary and Aer Lingus Director of Operations Enda Corneille on News At One - Listen LIVE

12.28 Aer Arann has said it will resume operations from 1pm today, but acknowledged that some delays are possible.

12.20 Ryanair has said all flights in Northern Europe, except flights between Ireland and the UK, will operate as scheduled from 5am tomorrow.

All Ryanair flights between Ireland and UK, including domestic routes, will resume normal schedules from 5am on Friday.

The airline said it expects more delays and cancellations as airports struggle to handle the volume of flights.

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said: 'We welcome today's reopening of European airspace, but would caution that capacity limitations will give rise to considerable ATC and airport delays over the next few days, as all airlines struggle to clear the backlog of disrupted passengers.'

12.02 The European Commission has said that airlines have a clear legal obligation to follow EU rules on passengers' rights.

A spokeswoman for the EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said the rules are non-negotiable and that the Commission expected national authorities to enforce the rules.

11.58 The Commission for Aviation Regulation has said that all passengers who are awaiting rescheduled flights with Ryanair, after their original flights with the company were cancelled, are entitled to meals, refreshment and hotel accommodation paid for by the airline.

Patricia Barton of the Commission told RTÉ News that a statement from Ryanair that the company will only re-imburse passengers to the cost of the original airfare infringes the EU regulation that provides for passenger protection.

11.55 Cork Airport has reopened and flights to and from there are due to resume from 1pm.

The first departures are due to go to Birmingham, Manchester and London with flights to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Edinburgh and Poland due later in the day. The first arrivals are due from Birmingham and Manchester later this afternoon.

11.35 Check-in desks are open at Shannon Airport to process travellers on the Aer Lingus service to New York, which is due to depart this afternoon.

Aer Lingus is also listed to resume its 5.20pm service to Heathrow. However, its lunchtime flight to Boston remains cancelled. Ryanair services to Liverpool, Malaga, Edinburgh and Stansted are cancelled.

11:20 A NASA satellite captured the below image of Eyjafjallajökull around 12 hours ago. Clearly visible are the heat signatures of lava at the volcano’s summit and at nearby Fimmvörduháls. High res image here

11.01 All long-haul passenger services to and from France and three-quarters of shorter flights are operating as scheduled, the civil aviation agency said.

10.55 The Icelandic meteorological office has said the Eyjafjallajokull volcano is still erupting, but is spewing less ash.

It also said close monitoring of the neighbouring and potentially more dangerous Katla volcano is also taking place, but there have been no signs it has re-awakened.

10.43 Around three-quarters of flights scheduled in Europe today are expected to take place, Eurocontrol, the body coordinating air traffic control across the continent said.

10.41 Almost all Swedish airspace to reopen from 3pm Irish time.

10.33 More than 6,000 troops due to join coalition forces fighting in Afghanistan have been delayed by the aviation shutdown in Europe, NATO said.

A total of 5,400 US troops and 1,100 coalition soldiers had been due to arrive in Afghanistan from Europe this week, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.

10.30 The Irish Aviation Authority has said it 'continuously monitors the situation and will issue a statement if the exclusion zone threatens Irish airspace today or in the days to come'.

'The IAA is satisfied that commercial air travel outside of the exclusion zone does not present a safety risk,' it added.

10.25 European air traffic agency Eurocontrol says about 75% of flights will operate in Europe today.

10.11 All long-haul flights from main Paris airport operating.

10.10 Did you miss Morning Ireland? Click here to listen back to today's programme.

10.05 Aer Lingus has confirmed that all UK and European flights scheduled to depart up to 1pm today have been cancelled.

In a statement it said: 'The majority of our transatlantic flights are due to operate, however, flights EI 105 from Dublin to New York and EI 133 from Dublin and Shannon to Boston have been cancelled. All Aer Lingus scheduled flights post 13:00 today are scheduled to operate.'

10.00 Two transatlantic flights have arrived in to Dublin Airport this morning. A Delta Airlines flight arrived in from Atlanta just before 9am and a US Airlines flight from Philadelphia also arrived in the past hour.

09.46 The emission of ash from Iceland's erupting Eyjafjjoell volcano has fallen to 'insignificant' levels, one of the country's leading seismologists said.

09.44 Most Finnish airports, including the main one in Helsinki, were reopened temporarily today But airport operator Finavia said flight restrictions at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport could begin again at 3pm (1200 GMT)

09.13 Airlines have lost around $1.7bn as a result of the chaos caused by volcanic ash, the head of the International Air Transport Association said.

09.07 The Department of Defence says that Irish troops due to return from Kosovo are expected to be able to board a plane in Pristina later today.

The aircraft is currently in Prague and will arrive in Pristina in the next couple of hours to pick-up the 160 Irish troops due to redeploy back home following their six-month tour of duty in Kosovo.

The plane is now due to arrive in Dublin Airport at 3.15pm this afternoon.

09.06 German airspace to be opened fully from 0900 GMT

08.48 The airline industry, aircraft manufacturers, the International Air Transport Association, governments and scientists will meet soon to look at travel safety standards involving volcanic ash, a UN official has said.

08.46 The eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjjoell volcano has lost nearly 80% of its intensity since the weekend, a spokeswoman for Iceland's civil protection agency.

08.44 Five of Germany's 16 international airports (Hamburg, Bremen, Hanover, Berlin Tegel and Berlin Schoenefeld) have reopened and authorities said they hoped to open more airspace in Germany later in the day.

Berlin Tegel

08.43 Six teams have been forced to pull out of the bowls World Cup, which begins in Australia tomorrow, after competitors were grounded by Europe's aviation shutdown.

Strong teams from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been left stranded in Europe, along with those from the Netherlands, Jersey and Spain, Bowls Australia said.

08.25 Knock Airport will be open from 1pm today. A spokesman said it is not yet clear if Aer Lingus flights to and from Gatwick in the afternoon will operate, but Aer Arann flights to and from Dublin will rsume this evening.

08.23 A garment ‘mountain’ has grown in Bangladesh due to the air chaos. More than 1,000 tonnes of Bangladeshi-made garments ordered by stores for the summer season have piled up at Dhaka airport because of the European aerial lock down.

The period between March and May is when air shipment is most in demand, as garment exporters rush to meet European fashion houses' summer deadlines.

08.18 bmi, British Midland International, plans a phased reintroduction of its international and domestic flights to and from London Heathrow and Dublin airport

08.17 Denmark is to reopen all its airspace from 0900 GMT, the national aviation authority Naviair announced.

07.50 Morning Ireland will be speaking to Chief Executive of the National Consumer Agency Ann Fitzgerald and Simon Nugent of the Irish Travel Agents Association in the next hour.

07.25 The first flight expected into Dublin Airport today is a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta at 9am. That plane will also be the first flight to depart at 10.30am.

Delta Airlines

07.15 Siobhan Moore of the Dublin Airport Authority says it will begin 'a phased and slow return to business' today.

07.05 Most flights into and out of Dublin Airport this morning will be transatlantic.

06.45 Much of European airspace has reopened and Europe-bound planes have left Asian airports on schedule.

06.35 The International Air Transport Association has said the crisis cost the industry €150m a day.

IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani told Italian television that more than five medium- and small-sized European airlines risked bankruptcy in the fall-out from the ash cloud shutdowns and called for EU compensation.

06.20 In Iceland, police said the plume of ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which began erupting last Wednesday, was diminishing but warned that there was 'still considerable volcanic activity at the site'.

The World Meteorological Organisation said the ash was expected to head towards the Arctic when the weather changed later in the week.

06.00 Irish airspace has reopened for flight operations after six days of disruption due to a cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland.

However, the Irish Aviation Authority has warned that it may take up to three days for full services to resume.

The Authority emphasised that the lifting of restrictions is subject to the ash cloud not moving over Ireland and no further aggressive volcanic activity.

There will be limited flight operations from Dublin and Cork airports during the day and Shannon Airport has confirmed it is to remain open.

It is expected that today’s flights will focus on positioning aircraft and crews and full service by the airlines may take up to three days to recover.

Passengers are advised to check with their airline's website before travelling to airports.

Ryanair's flights between Ireland and the UK have been halted until Friday afternoon, but it hopes to resume other European services tomorrow. Aer Lingus hope to have services running from this afternoon.