Atlantic ash cloud forces US-Europe flights south, causes traffic jams

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

DUBLIN (AP) - Travelers crossing the North Atlantic today can expect it to take an hour or two longer than usual.

A mammoth cloud of ash from Iceland's volcano is forcing flights to divert south. Europe's air traffic management agency says flight control centers on both sides of the Atlantic are drafting new routes and advising aircraft to carry extra fuel.

Authorities say the cloud is not presenting the kind of threat that would shut airports or ground aircraft again. But it stretches more than 1,200 miles, and forecasters warn that it's spreading rapidly. They project it will reach the northwest tip of Spain by tomorrow.

The diversion of Trans-Atlantic jets, mostly into Spanish air space, is beginning to clog corridors. As those routes suffer jams and the cloud moves closer, flights could be diverted north over the Arctic.

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