UK airlines are running flights to Iceland as normal, despite fears that a volcanic eruption could take place after hundreds of small earthquakes occurred every day over a two-week period in the Grindavik region, not far from the capital Reykjavik.
Authorities have raised the aviation alert to orange, which indicates an increased risk of a volcanic eruption.
Eruptions pose a serious risk to flights as they can spew highly abrasive ash high into the atmosphere, which can cause jet engines to fail, damage flight control systems and reduce visibility.
However, despite this, at present, flights from the UK to Iceland are running as normal.
In a statement, British Airways said: “Our flights are operating as planned and we continue to monitor the situation closely. We will be in touch with customers directly should the situation change.”
In a similar statement, easyJet said “Our flying schedule is currently operating as normal however we are monitoring the situation closely and should this change we will contact customers directly to advise on their flights.
“Our standard booking policies and T&Cs still apply for package holidays.”
The latest travel advice from the Foreign Office states that while there is no current eruption, it is increasingly likely that one will occur.
It advises those planning on travelling to Iceland to monitor local media for updates and follow the authorities’ advice on travel to the area.
Tourists are advised to check for updates from the Icelandic Met Office, Safe Travel Iceland and the Almannavarnadeild Facebook and Twitter pages.
On November 10, the town of Grindavík was evacuated as a precaution after a Civil Protection Alert was declared following the earthquakes.
Iceland’s Meteorological Office said that a corridor of magma, or semi-molten rock, now extends under the town, which is about 50 kilometres from the country’s capital, Reykjavik.
“At this stage, it is not possible to determine exactly whether and where magma might reach the surface,” the Meteorological Office said.
Last week, the famous Blue Lagoon was closed due to eruption fears and is not expected to open again until November 16.
The closure affects the Blue Lagoon, Silica Hotel, Retreat Spa, Retreat Hotel, Lava, and Moss Restaurant.
In 2010, a major volcanic eruption in Iceland caused mass disruption to air travel between Europe and North America.
The eruption led to more than 100,000 flights being cancelled and cost airlines an estimated $3 billion.