England

Ash delays at Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley airports

Passengers using airports in the north-east of England are facing continued disruption because of drifting ash from an Icelandic volcanic eruption.

More flights have been cancelled at both Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley airports, although the airports themselves remain open.

Early flights to Amsterdam, Paris and London Heathrow were cancelled at Newcastle Airport.

Flights to Amsterdam and Southampton, from Durham, were also cancelled.

Passengers are being urged to check with individual airlines before travelling. Those with flights already cancelled are being told not to go to airports.

Scores of flights were cancelled at the two airports on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Newcastle Airport said it was hoped the majority of services would resume later.

However, the UK's Met Office said ash might return to affect much of the country on Friday.

Authorities in Germany have also warned of disruption as the cloud moves over parts of Europe.

The Met Office said the concentration of volcanic ash in the UK's airspace was expected to decrease significantly throughout Wednesday.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said the ash plume had decreased in height and intensity, and south-westerly winds were predicted for the next two days which would move the cloud away from the UK.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) divides the airspace into areas of high, medium and low-density ash, and airlines wishing to fly in areas of medium- or high-density ash need to have a safety case accepted by the authority.

The Grimsvotn volcano in Vatnajokull National Park began erupting on Saturday.

The Foreign Office is advising passengers to remain in regular contact with their travel agent or airline for the latest news on the status of flights and bookings.

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