Erupting Eyjafjallajokull began the morning of April 15th in Iceland rising over North-Western Europe. Giant clouds of volcanic ash blocked key airports, raising havoc in the area of air travel which has not happened since the Second World War. Flights from all London airports were cancelled for security reasons.
According to preliminary estimates from noon in the UK about 3,000 flights were grounded due to the timely action of the National air traffic control services. A huge cloud of rock and dust rapidly moving from Iceland to the south, has changed plans of about a million passengers throughout Europe, including 300,000 passengers in the UK.
All civilian flights were halted due to the huge risks of flying in these clouds for the aircraft. Clouds of volcanic ash, consisting of tiny particles of dust and sand is seemingly not recorded easily on radar and can damage the engines and aircraft, as happened with the flights of British Airways in 1982. According to the Office of Civil Aviation, such a collapse in the airspace of Europe did not occur since the Second World War.
Unfortunately the situation with the disruptions in London, significantly impacted not only on airlines, but on travel plans for many passengers and their purses. Due to the extraordinary circumstances causing flight cancellations, most insurance companies refuse to pay premiums on insurance policies and the cost of travel, referring to force majeure.
There are currently no flights flying out of any London airports, meaning Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick, Luton, and City Airport. According to preliminary data, the most optimistic view is that all scheduled flights to/from London will be canceled at least until tonight. However, the weather forecast is very pessimistic and predicts that flight delays could last until the middle of next week, depending upon how long the eruption continues.
According to the 09.00 GMT (BBC.co.uk), all London airports will be closed at least until 19:00 Saturday, April 17.