UPDATE: Emirates cancels UK flights on Saturday

Airline grounds UK services for third day; European routes also hit.
NEWS, Aviation


Emirates Airline on Saturday cancelled all its flights from Dubai to the UK and most to mainland Europe as the impact of the Icelandic ash cloud continued to cause chaos.

All flights to London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester and Glasgow have been grounded, according to the airline's website, with Etihad Airways also saying its services to the UK, Ireland and some European destinations would be affected "throughout the weekend".

Destinations in France and Germany have also been hit with services to Paris, Dusseldorf and Hamburg cancelled on Saturday.

The only surviving Emirates flights to Europe on Saturday were to Nice in southern France and to Moscow in Russia.

The UK's National Air Traffic Service (Nats) said current restrictions to UK air space would remain in place until at least 6pm on Saturday (9pm UAE time).

Etihad Airways said on Friday it was having to cancel flights to the UK, Ireland and some European destinations on Friday and throughout the weekend.

Services most affected include flights to and from London Heathrow, Manchester, Frankfurt, Brussels and Paris, the airline said in a statement.

In some destinations on the Etihad network, passengers holding tickets to these final destinations will be uplifted to Abu Dhabi, where they will be accommodated on later flights to the region.

Alternatively, customers can rebook flights to the region for services from Monday April 19.

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

Eight hundred residents were evacuated from around the site 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.

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