Smoke Begins to Clear on European Travel Chaos

by  Elissa Garay | Apr 21, 2010
Plane / Biletskiy_Evgeniy/iStock

Nearly a week after the onset of the biggest aviation disruption since 9/11, stranded travelers the world over are breathing a collective sigh of relief today, as widespread flight restrictions are largely lifted. At publication time, only a small handful of airports remained closed (Warsaw, Helsinki, and Stockholm among them – to easily track cancellations and monitor airport closings, we recommend this handy page, put together by the New York Times). Still, officials estimate it could be weeks before air travel in the region returns to normal, as efforts to rebook the behemoth backlog of travelers are aggresively underway.

Scientists remain unclear on what to expect of the Icelandic volcano in regards to further eruption activity (experts say it could continue for weeks, or even months), and although the smoke appears to be clearing for now, this may not be the last we've seen in this continued saga of man versus volcano. Potentially even more worrisome, eruptions of Eyjafjallajokull's volcano neighbor, Katla, have historically followed suit – with wary experts estimating that the strength of a Katla eruption could be as much as 10 times as strong as Eyjafjallajokull

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