The flight ban was lifted at all European airports today. They have been closed for almost one week because of the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull glacier in south Iceland which caused ash to drift across the continent.
The eruption on Saturday. Photo by Bjarni Brynjólfsson.
It is expected that the extent of air traffic today will be around 75 percent of what it is on a usual day; 21,000 airplanes will fly through European airspace today instead of the usual 28,000, ruv.is reports.
According to the European Aviation Safety Agency, air travel is now permitted throughout the entire European airspace below 20,000 feet with limitations over certain areas such as southern Sweden and Helsinki.
All airports in the UK have been reopened. There is immense pressure on the aviation system and significant delays are expected. Around 100,000 British citizens who have been stranded around the world will now be flown back home.
News analysts anticipate that harsh debates are about to begin on whether the flight ban was necessary or whether aviation authorities and the European governments were being too precautious.
It is believed that European airlines lost approximately USD 1.7 billion (EUR 1.3 billion) because of the flight ban.
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