Latest travel update: Dublin and Cork airports to remain closed until 8pm
Published 20/04/2010 | 05:36
The latest update from the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is that Dublin and Cork airports will remain closed for all commercial flights until 8pm tonight.
Shannon Airport, which is currently open, is now due to close at 7pm tonight.
Overflights of Irish airspace are being allowed above 20,500 feet.
Ryanair has cancelled all of its flights between Ireland and the UK until 1pm on Friday. The carrier said this will allow them use Irish and UK based aircraft to operate extra flights from the UK to continental Europe
Ryanair is advising passengers to visit their websites to rebook their flights or apply for a refund.
Aer Lingus, which has cancelled 1,100 flights since the crisis began, said it is losing between €4-5million a day due to the flight disruption.
Before yesterday's eruption, the IAA had hoped to reinstate some flights on a phased basis, but it warned normal services would not resume for up to four days.
Earlier, some passenger flights took off from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, including one to New York after a decision by EU ministers to reopen parts of the continent's airspace.
Flights from the US to Europe have resumed, despite the ash clouds currently over Ireland, as planes can fly over the affected air at a much higher altitude.
“You can fly over it, but not through it,” said IAA’s Director of Operations, Donie Mooney. He told Newstalk that the authority would continue to closely monitor the situation in the hours ahead.
The Department of Foreign Affairs’ helpline (014082999) has been inundated with calls from an estimated 15,000 Irish citizens left stranded by the ongoing travel crisis. The Air Corps has been put on notice by the HSE to transport patients on UK transplant lists .
For those looking for alternative transport, Bus Eireann has added a new daily service from Dublin to Birmingham/London starting at 7.15am today, seats can be purchased on the company’s website at www.buseireann.ie.
Irish Ferries (08717300400) are urging passengers to book ahead to avoid disappointment and Stena Line ferries (012047799) say they still have room on their services to and from Ireland, though the number of foot traffic places are going fast.