Only the most northerly and eastern reaches of Norway remained closed to air traffic on Monday, with airports in Oslo and other cities open again for domestic traffic and even a few international flights. A new cloud of volcanic ash, however, threatened another shutdown.
Aviation officials scheduled a new update on the situation for 9pm Monday. The uncertainty left many of the flights that were running on Monday with very few passengers.
“We think they’re afraid they’ll get stuck somewhere, and won’t be able to come home,” Jo Kobro of Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).
Most people out flying on Sunday, when air space started reopening, and on Monday were those trying to get home. An Icelandair flight that landed in Trondheim was packed on Sunday, but returned to Iceland almost empty.
Since most airports in Europe remained closed on Monday, there were few flights out of Norway. One operated to Stockholm, after Arlanda’s airport reopened, and two SAS flights came in from New York and Washington, clear to take others back the other way. They’d been scheduled to fly to Copenhagen, but Kastrup Airport there remained closed so they were sent to Oslo instead.
Flights from Bangkok and Tenerife also landed at Oslo on Monday.
Civil aviation authority Avinor said that the skies over Norway were expected to remain clear of volcanic ash until midnight. A new cloud may move in after that and during Tuesday, though, which would force re-closure of air space. Forecasts were only good for around six hours.
State meteorologists predicted ash over Norway again on Tuesday. Passengers were urged to stay in touch with their airlines to see whether flights would be operating.