Iceland’s volcano is acting up again, and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) had to cancel a flight from Oslo to Iceland’s Keflavik airport on Monday. Concerns rose that more volcanic ash may disrupt flights around Norway on Thursday.
Aviation officials and meteorologists are hard-pressed to make any accurate predictions about what Iceland’s volcanic eruptions (PicApp photo) will actually mean for air traffic. Many flights were cancelled in southern Europe over the weekend, though, the first major disruptions for the past few weeks.
Denmark’s meteorological institute was predicting a new ash cloud this week that could close its air space. That would affect many flights from Norway, because SAS, for example, uses Copenhagen as a hub.
John Smits of the Norwegian meteorological institute, though, was skeptical about the Danish prognosis. “If you look at the movement of the clouds, the new ash won’t come so close to Denmark,” he told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “And the ash that’s been lying over southern Europe won’t be highly concentrated when it moves north.”
Smits does see some potential for westerly winds moving ash clouds towards Norway from Wednesday, which could disrupt flights on Thursday.
“If today’s prognoses hold, areas of the North Sea could be affected on Thursday,” he said.
The emphasis is on “could,” and travelers are advised to keep in touch with their airlines.
Traffic through the airport at Stavanger on Norway’s west coast was subject to numerous delays Monday morning, because the tower had to handle an unusual amount of air traffic caused by flights between Europe and the US being diverted into Norwegian air space to avoid ash clouds. Traffic was reportedly back to normal by mid-afternoon.