Sharm el Sheikh flight from Cardiff airport last to leave UK as volcanic ash closes British airspace
A Sharm el Sheikh flight from Wales was the last flight to leave the UK last week as UK airports were closed after a large cloud of volcanic ash has drifted across from Iceland, closing British airspace for the first time ever.
The Thomson Airways flight taking passengers on their Sharm el Sheikh all inclusive holidays managed to leave Cardiff Airport at 11.25am, shortly before the airport closed to all air traffic at midday.
The eruption occurred under a glacier in the Eyjafjallajoekull region of Iceland on Wednesday 14 April, the second eruption to occur in the space of a month, causing British airspace to close as a mass of volcanic ash drifted south from Iceland and entered the UK.
The restrictions were enforced because of the damage that volcanic ash can cause aircraft engines.
A spokesman from Nats, the air traffic control company, said:
"In line with international civil aviation policy, no flights other than agreed emergencies are currently permitted in UK controlled airspace."
Now into the fifth day of British airspace closure, over 62,000 flights have been cancelled and thousands of travellers are stranded both in the UK and abroad. The Royal Navy will now be helping to bring stranded British travellers back to the UK. Mary Davies and her two daughters, Alison and Kate, arrived at Cardiff Airport from Swansea just after 10am and waited anxiously to hear if their Sharm el Sheikh flight would be going ahead to take them on their luxury Egypt holidays.
"We phoned the airport and decided to come to see what was happening. There are other people booked on the cruise who are flying from other airports in the UK, so I suppose they are in the same position."
Fortunately for the family, the Sharm el Sheikh flight went ahead as scheduled and was the last to leave the airport before the ban was enforced at noon. Since the Sharm el Sheikh flight left British airspace last Thursday, no other flights have managed to leave or enter the UK causing chaos for travellers trying to return home from their Easter holidays.
Officials have confirmed that British airspace will be closed until at least 1am on Tuesday 20 April and are currently analysing data from a BA test flight which was sent out last night and landed back at Cardiff Airport. Over 20 airports have restrictions in place and so far the chaos has cost British Airways between £15-20million per day. The volcano in Iceland is now said to be spewing far less ash but restrictions will remain in place until further tests have been carried out.
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This modern resort offers an ideal location for a family friendly stay close to beautiful sandy beaches
- Just 10 minutes by bus from a lovely stretch of some of the finest sandy beaches
- Dive deep into clear waters of the Red Sea to enjoy colourful coral reefs and explore a variety of fish and marine life
- Sol y Mar Sharks Bay offers a variety of restaurants, a lobby bar & terrace, an Internet cafe and a shuttle bus to the nearby beach
Relax at Naama Bay with pleasant grounds and wonderful amenities to keep you occupied
- Visitors flock to Pirates, for an eveing drink, before or after sampling some wonderful cuisine in the array of restaurants
- Prime spot in Naama bay, as it was one of the first hotels in the area. The grounds are well tended and mature, with colourful plants and shrubs throughout
- Guest accommodation is discrete, with low rise bungalows dotted throughout the beautiful garden setting. Rooms and suites are light and airy, are tastefully furnished and come with all modern amenities
Enjoy access to 3 protected beaches, close proximity to the trendy strip of Naama Bay and its sizzling nightlife
- There is a myriad of activities on offer from relaxing treatments at the Club Olympus Spa to exciting land and water sports
- Choose from fantastic dining options including seasonal specialities, a charcoal grill, and Thai cuisine
- Adventure seekers can enjoy jeep safaris, quad bikes, mountain treks, and camel expeditions
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