QANTAS has been forced to divert two flights bound for London to Frankfurt in Germany after Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud caused several UK airports to close again.
A third flight was stranded in Dubai until London airspace re-opens after being diverted there because of a medical emergency, the Herald Sun reports.
A Qantas spokeswoman said two flights which left Sydney on Sunday afternoon – one flying via Bangkok and another via Singapore – had to be diverted to Frankfurt.
But she said all Qantas flights scheduled to leave Australia on Tuesday would be departing as planned because they weren’t affected by the curfew imposed.
The UK’s National Air Traffic Services closed Heathrow and Gatwick airports in London for six hours as the ash cloud continued to move further south.
It had already closed airspace in Scotland, Northern England, the Midlands, Wales and Ireland, with forecasters predicting the cloud was unlikely to drift out of UK airspace until a wind change on Wednesday.
Some experts said the volcano could continue erupting for decades.
But stranded passengers were given cause for hope last night, with an emergency proposal to allow planes to fly through ten times more ash than currently permitted.
An agreement between the Civil Aviation Authority and engine manufacturers was expected to come into force.
The move follows an attack from British and European airlines, who accused the Government of closing airspace unnecessarily.
A body representing 36 major European carriers, including British Airways, said they had lost confidence in data supplied by the UK’s Met Office and the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in London.
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