Fri. Aug 12th, 2022
Will Iceland's erupting volcano affect my flight? Here's what we know so far


Is historical past repeating? In an echo of the chaos of April 2010, an Icelandic volcano has violently erupted, spewing lava and sparking fears of flight delays and cancellations. 

On the face of it, there’s good purpose for concern because the Fagradalsfjall volcano sits simply 20 miles from Reykjavik airport. Nevertheless, the comparatively small measurement of the eruption has meant no flight disruption to date and the minimal influence of an identical occasion final 12 months suggests widespread journey chaos will not be imminent. Certainly, you may need to depend on the UK’s struggling airports and airways to wreck your vacation as an alternative. 

That is in stark distinction to a decade in the past, when the big ash cloud emitted by the somewhat unpronounceable Eyjafjallajökull volcano within the south of the nation precipitated greater than 100,000 flight cancellations in per week. 

Right here we run by the important thing questions surrounding Iceland’s newest volcanic eruption and what it would imply in your upcoming vacation.

When did the eruption begin?

Fagradalsfjall started erupting on Wednesday (August 3) after weeks of accelerating earthquake exercise within the space. Instantly, officers ordered a ‘code crimson’ alert, which banned planes from flying instantly above the world, although this might quickly be downgraded and has not impacted flight schedules. 

Fagradalsfjall continues to spew lava and it’s so far unclear when it can cease. The identical volcano noticed an eruption final 12 months – its first in 6,000 years – which lasted for six months, however remained localised and didn’t influence worldwide journey. In actual fact, it drew extra vacationers to the nation who had been determined to see it up shut. 

As Iceland is positioned between two tectonic plates (the Eurasian and North American), it experiences frequent earthquakes and volcanic exercise. There have been seven vital eruptions through the twenty first century, with consultants predicting they might turn out to be extra frequent within the coming years.

Will my flight be cancelled? 

It appears unlikely the eruption will trigger vital journey disruption, notably if it follows the sample of final 12 months’s eruption which remained comparatively small, albeit long-lasting.

Iceland’s Overseas Ministry confirmed journey was operating easily, stating: “Presently, there was no disruption to flights to and from Iceland and worldwide flight corridors stay open.” 

Elsewhere, funds Icelandic airline Play has sought to ease any passenger considerations.

An announcement on its web site reads: “The eruption is small, poses no threats to infrastructure or inhabitants within the space. Keflavik Worldwide Airport is open and incoming flights are getting a very spectacular view!”

Why did the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption trigger journey chaos?

Round 10 million passengers had been impacted when the ice-covered Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in April 2010, coinciding properly with the top of the Easter holidays. Greater than 100,000 flights had been cancelled in only a week, with passengers left caught of their vacation locations. Transatlantic routes had been among the many most affected, in what was the biggest flight grounding for the reason that Second World Battle. In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic has since eclipsed this feat. 

The explanation for the outsized influence was the excessive stage of ash and smoke the volcano spewed into the environment (and European airspace). Regardless of its proximity to Reyjavik, the comparatively diminutive measurement of Fagradalsfjall’s eruption ought to imply that chaos is prevented. 

Can I see the eruption if I’m in Iceland?

Fagradalsfjall’s six-month-long eruption final 12 months turned one thing of a vacationer attraction, with locals and guests alike mountaineering up hills desirous to catch a glimpse of the molten rock fountains. 

Maybe sensing an identical urge for food for lava, Icelandic officers have urged folks “to not strategy the brand new volcanic eruption till additional discover because the state of affairs is unsure and it’s doable that air pollution might be detected on account of fuel launch.” 

Hikers have additionally been suggested to point out additional warning when strolling within the surrounding Reykanes peninsula on account of an elevated danger of rockfall and landslides. For extra data on traveller security in Iceland and the volcanic eruption, go to safetravel.is

Am I protected if my flight is cancelled on account of a volcanic eruption?

In case your flight does occur to be impacted by a volcanic eruption, there isn’t any assure you may be compensated by your insurer, as many don’t present commonplace cowl for pure disasters. Nevertheless, it may usually be added on. At all times learn the small print in your coverage earlier than reserving to make certain of inclusions. 

For extra recommendation on what most journey insurers do and don’t cowl, learn our information. 

By admin