Drifting volcanic ash prompts flight ban in and out of Irish airports

DUBLIN, Ireland — Ireland’s Aviation Authority said Monday it was banning all flights in and out of Ireland on Tuesday morning because of a renewed risk of volcanic ash drifting south from Iceland.

DUBLIN, Ireland — Ireland’s Aviation Authority said Monday it was banning all flights in and out of Ireland on Tuesday morning because of a renewed risk of volcanic ash drifting south from Iceland.

All flights to and from Irish airports will be banned from 2 a.m to 8 a.m EDT, the authority said in a statement. The restrictions will not affect planes flying over Ireland from Britain and Europe.

“The decision is based on the safety risks to crews and passengers as a result of the drift south of the volcanic ash cloud caused by the northeasterly winds,” the statement said.

Ireland is expected to experience ash concentrations that exceed acceptable engine manufacturer tolerance levels, the authority said.

The budget airline Ryanair said in a statement that its flights to and from Northern Ireland, a British province, and Scotland, will be disrupted.

Iceland’s Meteorological Office said the restrictions were caused by a change in wind direction in the past few days, not an increased amount of ash spewing from southern Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

The eruption continued to be stable, the forecaster said.

The volcano unleashed a massive ash plume last month that turned much of European into a no-fly zone for days.

More than 100,000 flights were cancelled and airlines say they may lose more than US$2 billion.