Wednesday 17 January 2018

Gerry Byrne: Even when the flight ban is lifted, chaos will continue

Gerry Byrne

YOU may have spotted an aircraft high over Ireland yesterday and wondered just how it got there safely. Hidden among the dashed hopes of stranded air travellers -- which were dealt a cruel blow when the Icelandic volcano erupted again -- was some good news.

Although there is little change in the horrendous volumes of ash it spews out, the deadly cloud is no longer being shot up to the altitudes at which aircraft cruise. Instead, it is getting no higher than 20,000ft.

Airports in Europe, such as Frankfurt and Amsterdam, were able to launch some flights to southern Europe, including Spain and Italy, both of which are unaffected by ash. Some flights to the American continents were also getting away because they were able to cruise safely at 36,000ft or higher.

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