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Volcano disrupts Emirates flights to Europe

Flights from Dubai airport delayed, canceled after volcano eruption.
NEWS, Aviation

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Many Emirates flights scheduled to leave Dubai on Thursday heading for Europe were facing disruption, following a volcano eruption in Iceland, Arabian Business can reveal.

Aviation authorities in northern Europe, including Scotland, have been forced to close their airspace "until further notice", as an ash cloud from an Iceland volcanic eruption moves across Europe.

A spokesman at the flight information centre at Dubai International Airport told Arabian Business on Thursday that all Emirates flights going to Europe had been affected by the eruption, in particular on the route to London.

Flights to Glasgow, London Heathrow, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham have all been cancelled, according to the flight information board at the airport.

A spokesman for Emirates confirmed that flights had been affected, adding that a statement on the situation would be issued soon. Etihad Airways, the UAE national carrier, confirmed its flights had also been affected, adding that further details would be released soon.

The volcano, which is under a glacier in Iceland, erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice and spewing smoke and ash into the air.

Eight hundred residents were evacuated from around the site on Wednesday as water gushed down the mountainside causing flooding and rivers to rise by 3 metres.

Iceland's Meteorological Office said a plume of steam rose at least 8km (5 miles) into the air, the Associated Press reports.

Vulcanologists said a bigger worry is the volcano Katla, which in the past has erupted in tandem with this volcano called Eyjafjallajokull. A Katla eruption could cause widespread flooding and disrupt air traffic between Europe and North America.

Update: VIDEO: Passengers react to Emirates flights delays

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