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NASA satellite image of the dense ash emerging from the Grimsvotn volcano on Sunday. AP Photo/NASA

Irish airports remain open but ash cloud disrupts flights to Scotland

Ryanair has expressed its displeasure with the disruption, believing it to be unnecessary. The IAA has said that all Irish airports remain open and added that it will update the situation later today.

Updated 9.30am

THE IRISH AVIATION Authority (IAA) has said that “all Irish airports remain open” this morning but warned that services may be affected by restrictions imposed by other European airlines as has already been the case.

In a statement this morning, IAA said that all passengers planning to travel by air should check regularly with their airlines and with the IAA before flying and said it was actively monitoring the situation.

The authority added that if it becomes the case that Ireland is affected by high density ash from the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland then “any Irish airline wishing to operate in areas of high density ash will need to have a safety case accepted by the IAA.”

It promised a further update at 3pm today.

Already, Aer Lingus and Ryanair are among a number of airlines to have cancelled flights in and out of Scotland today as the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud spreads.

All Aer Lingus flights from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to airports in Scotland, including Glasgow Prestwick, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, have been cancelled until at least midday. Full details here.

Meanwhile Ryanair has said it has reluctantly cancelled all flights to and from Edinburgh, Glasgow Prestwick and Aberdeen until at least 1pm today.

Ryanair said it “strongly objected” to the advice from the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), saying it believed there was no basis for the flight cancellations. Full details here.

The airline said in a statement that it would be meeting with the IAA today to have this restriction on flights to and from Scotland “removed as a matter of urgency” and said it would be complaining to the Minister for Transport  and regulatory authorities about the “unnecessary cancellations.”

In the UK, the disruption has also caused British Airways, Dutch airline KLM and Easyjet to cancel services to and from Scotland, leaving thousands stranded according to BBC News.

The ash cloud is forecast to move to other areas of the UK including Northern Ireland and northern England later today with reports that Heathrow airport may become affected by lunchtime.

Yesterday, Met Éireann said that the ash cloud from the erupting Grimsvotn volcano was heading in Ireland’s direction.

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