25 May 2011 Last updated at 12:39 GMT

Iceland volcano ash: German air traffic resuming

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Weather forecast for Iceland ash plume

Air traffic over northern Germany is returning to normal after being disrupted by volcanic ash from Iceland.

Planes are once again taking off from and landing at Hamburg, Bremen and Berlin airports after they closed for several hours.

About 700 flights were cancelled in Germany on Wednesday, Europe’s air traffic agency Eurocontrol said.

The activity at Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano, which erupted at the weekend, appears to have stopped.

The German authorities closed Bremen and Hamburg airports in the early hours of Wednesday. Traffic at Berlin’s airports was halted at about 1100 (0900 GMT).

Flights in and out of Bremen and Hamburg resumed in the middle of the day, when the German air traffic control agency said the ash level was “no longer critical”.

Berlin was the last major centre to re-open its airspace, at 1400 local time (1200 GMT).

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image of Stephen EvansStephen EvansBBC News, Berlin

Nobody was happy about the grounding of aircraft in northern Germany in smaller airports as well as the bigger ones in Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen.

But nor was there the outburst of discontent which came with the cancelled flights in Britain the previous day.

One stranded passenger at Bremen said: “One has to take it as it is. That is the way it is. Safety is first. When an ash cloud moves towards us and the planes are endangered by this, I would not like to be on board a plane.”

There is some unease within the industry about what they see as different regulations in different countries. No airline chief executive has matched Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary in his vociferous condemnation.

There are no flight restrictions elsewhere in Europe, Eurocontrol said.


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