Civil aviation authorities say flights won’t start departing or arriving in Britain until at least Friday morning because of a huge ash cloud spewed by an Icelandic volcano.
The National Air Traffic Service said Thursday that non-emergency flights won’t be permitted in British airspace until at least 1 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday.
A statement from the authority said the “cloud of volcanic ash is now spread across the U.K. and continuing to travel south.”
The Icelandic volcano was sending up smoke and ash that posed “a significant safety threat to aircraft,” as visibility is compromised and debris can get sucked into airplane engines.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
LONDON (AP) â€” British airport operator BAA Ltd. says all flights at London’s Heathrow Airport have been suspended for the rest of the day, causing travel chaos as ash clouds from Iceland’s spewing volcano halted air traffic across Europe.
A BAA spokesman said Thursday that no further flights are expected to arrive or land at the airport, which is Europe’s busiest.
Heathrow handles over 1,200 flights and 180,000 passengers per day.