Airlines forced to cancel half-term holiday flights as Mount Etna spews ash and smoke 

Airlines are forced to cancel half-term holiday flights while EasyJet suspends ALL services into Athens as Mount Etna spews ash and smoke

  • Mount Etna showed most violent volcanic activity today since start of eruptions in February this year
  • Clouds of smoke and ash billowed up into the sky and covered streets and cars in towns over 20 miles away
  • Several half-term holiday flights – including all to Athens – from Britain had to be cancelled by the activity


New volcanic activity in Mount Etna today caused havoc for holidaymakers with dozens of half-term flights being cancelled.

Europe’s most active volcano today violently spewed clouds of ash and smoke high into the sky – covering cars and streets miles away.

And the clouds also caused the cancellation of a number of flights from British and other European airports today. 

Some passengers with British Airways were left furious when their flight from London Heathrow to Athens was cancelled with less than an hour’s notice.

Italy’s biggest volcano today spewed clouds of ash and smoke high into the sky covering streets in cars miles away

One person tweeted British Airways saying: ‘Athens flight postponed due to volcanic ash (fair enough) but response from Heathrow staff is totally inept. Lack of organisation.’

Etna erupted several times earlier this year, starting in February, but the ongoing activity was reported to be especially violent.

Situated between the African and Eurasian tectonic plates, it generates nearly constant eruptions of varying degrees.

Each year it produces more than tens of million tons of lava and over 7 million tons of carbon dioxide, water and sulfur dioxide.

Its most severe recent eruption occurred in March of 2017, when nearly a dozen people were injured.

But eruptions have been recorded as far back as 1500 BC, with a devastating eruption in 1169 causing an earthquake that killed an estimated 15,000 people.

In 1992, lava streaming down its slope threatened Zafferana, a town of 7,000, in what’s thought to be the most voluminous flank eruption in 300 years.

Soldiers used controlled explosions to divert the lava flow.  


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