Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Thursday, 15 April 2010 14:22 UK

Volcanic ash from Iceland grounds Birmingham flights

Honeymooners Tracey and John Clarke whose flight was cancelled at Birmingham Airport
Honeymooners Tracey and John Clarke's flights were cancelled

All flights from Birmingham International Airport have been cancelled as clouds of volcanic ash blow towards the UK from Iceland.

Flights arriving or leaving the airport - about 130 - between 0630 and 1800 BST were cancelled.

A handful of flights operated as planned between 0630 and 0700 BST.

The airport said UK airspace had been closed until at least 1900 BST on Friday because of dangerous flying conditions caused by the ash cloud.

Tracey and John Clarke have had their honeymoon plans disrupted by the flight cancellations.

Birthday plans

The couple said they had been together for 10 years and had never been away without their three children. Mr Clarke said: "I am not in a very good mood."

Neil Ruperalia was hoping to celebrate his 50th birthday with his wife Dawn and his three children, but said he was worried they might miss it.

Rachel Lewis and her family waiting at Birmingham Airport to go on holiday to Egypt
Rachel Lewis's family holiday plans have been put on hold

"I checked online and it said they had all been cancelled. I don't know what's going on so we are going to just wait and see," he added.

Rachel Lewis had travelled to Birmingham International Airport from Bristol with four young children in tow and one in a pushchair.

She was due to spend two weeks on a family holiday in Egypt and said: "I don't know if it's going at all. Have I got to spend the whole day at the airport with four children? I am a bit worried about what we are going to do."

The Air Traffic Control Service (Nats) imposed UK-wide flying restrictions after the Met Office warned ash could damage aeroplane engines.

Laura Gilchrist from the Met Office said the ash was expected to be contained in clouds at high altitude and was not thought to affect people with asthma.

She said anyone who was worried should contact NHS Direct for advice. The ash clouds are expected to disperse over Scandinavia in the next 48 hours.

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Flights hit by volcanic ash cloud
15 Apr 10 |  England

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