UK Tourists: Iceland Travel Warning

UK Tourists: Iceland Travel Warning

A huge volcanic eruption in Iceland has led the UK Foreign Office to issue a travel warning.

In southwestern Iceland, the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupted, blasting a flash of light into the evening sky and flinging semi-molten rock into the air in a stunning display of the Earth's strength in the land known for fire and ice.

The eruption Monday night appears to have occurred about four kilometres from the town of Grindavik, the Icelandic Meteorological Office said. 

The town near Iceland's main airport was evacuated in November after strong seismic activity damaged homes and raised fears of an imminent eruption.

“A volcanic eruption started on the Reykjanes peninsula in south-west Iceland on the 18 December. The location is Sundahnúkagígar, 3km north of the town of Grindavík. All roads to Grindavík are closed and you should stay away from the area.

“Keflavik International Airport is operating as normal, but you are advised to check for latest updates. The capital city Reykjavik, and the rest of Iceland have not been impacted by this eruption. You should monitor local media for updates and follow the authorities´ advice on travel to the area.”

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Experts had previously said that this eruption would not be as disruptive as the previous blast in 2010.

Eruption’s Impact On Flights

Volcanic eruptions can endanger air travel by releasing ash into the atmosphere, which can cause jet engines to fail, disrupt flight control systems, and reduce visibility.

Iceland's aviation authorities have raised the alert level to orange, suggesting that, while a volcanic eruption is continuing, there is only limited ash emission, if any.

Keflavik International Airport remains open, albeit with some considerable delays on the ground after the eruption.

Planes are currently still landing, although the volcano’s glow is visible from the runway.

Meanwhile, Akureyri Airport in the northeast is operating as usual.

IcelandAir said the eruption has had ‘no impact’ on its schedule.

‘As announced by Icelandic authorities, a volcanic eruption has started in the southwest region of Iceland.

‘At this time, the eruption does not affect the operations of Icelandair or Keflavík Airport. Our flight schedule remains unchanged. The safety of our passengers and staff is always our number one priority and at the heart of every decision we make.

Statement from IcelandAir

Most airlines have stated that if this changes, they will notify customers immediately. Passengers have been encouraged to pay special attention to airline messages.

Do you have a scheduled trip to Iceland? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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