UPDATE: Volcanic ash cloud cancels Norwich International airport flights

Flights from Norwich to Scotland have been cancelled or disrupted today because of the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.

Flights from Norwich to Scotland have been cancelled or disrupted today because of the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.

On Saturday the Grimsvotn volcano erupted, prompting fears of a repeat of the travel chaos last April caused by the Eyjafjallajokull eruption, which saw flights over Europe grounded for six days and passengers stranded all over the world.

Six Norwich International Airport flights to and from Aberdeen have been cancelled:

• T3722 Norwich to Aberdeen

• T3723 Aberdeen to Norwich

• T3726 Norwich to Aberdeen

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• T3727 Aberdeen to Norwich

• BD1310 Aberdeen to Norwich

• BD1311 Norwich to Aberdeen

The 8.54am flight from Norwich to Edinburgh did take off, but not until just after 11am, after the flight from Edinburgh to Norwich, due to arrive at 8.20am finally landed just before 10.20am.

Disruption at airports caused by the latest Icelandic volcanic ash cloud crisis is expected to spread to some northern England airports later today.

Shortly after 9.30am today, air traffic control company Nats said 'an area of volcanic ash' was forecast to affect some parts of the UK between 1pm and 7pm today.

Nats said airports remained open but that services from Londonderry, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Prestwick, Newcastle, Carlisle, Durham Tees Valley and Cumbernauld airports may be affected.

EasyJet cancelled flights operating between 7am and 7pm today to and from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen airports and also axed its flights to and from Newcastle between 1pm and 7pm.

The airline said it hoped to operate services tonight from Newcastle to Alicante, from Alicante to Newcastle, from Luton to Aberdeen and from Aberdeen to Luton.

EasyJet said: 'These flights are due to operate shortly after the temporary danger area is expected to be lifted. More information about these flights will be provided closer to the departure times.'

British Airways said it had cancelled all flights to and from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle airports until 7pm today but was now operating services again to and from Aberdeen.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) yesterday said it was confident that a new Europe-wide safety regime introduced after the Eyjafjallajokull eruption last year would reduce disruption significantly and avoid the continental shutdown that stranded millions.

Under previous guidelines, aeroplanes were summarily grounded if there was any volcanic ash in the air. Now, airlines can fly through ash plumes if they have a safety case demonstrating that their fleets can handle medium or high-level densities of ash.

A CAA spokesman said most major airlines already have safety cases for medium-density ash clouds. He said: 'We are in a much better position than last time. Safety will still be paramount but we will be able to drastically reduce disruption compared to last time, provided there is not a huge amount of high-density ash.' The spokesman said a similar level of ash to the Eyjafjallajokull incident would not result in a mass-grounding. 'It will be a different picture.'

The Grimsvotn volcano began erupting on Sunday, causing flights to be cancelled at Iceland's main Keflavik airport after it sent a plume of ash smoke and steam 12 miles (19km) into the air.

Experts have said the eruption was unlikely to have the dramatic impact that the Eyjafjallajokull volcano had in April 2010.

However if it does passengers are likely to not only face disruption but also difficulty in trying to be recompensded after it emerged a number of insurers, including Aviva, that previously paid out claims will not this time.

For flight information at Norwich International Airport log onto www.norwichairport.co.uk/ or Stansted log onto www.stanstedairport.com/

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