UPDATED 18.20 CET
Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro join the long list of countries closing their airspace. Flights across much of Europe will be severely disrupted well into Saturday because of drifting ash ejected from a volcano in Iceland, officials say. Much of the airspace across Northern and Western Europe is closed, with fewer than half the usual number of flights operating yesterday. The ash has severely disrupted services in EX-YU countries as well.
Slovenia has closed its entire air space until further notice. Flights from Maribor, where Adria has relocated its operations for the time being, has cancelled its services.
Croatia closed its Northern air space from 02.00 CET. Zagreb Pleso Airport as well as airports in Pula, Rijeka and Zadar have been closed since 08.00 CET. At 14.00 CET Dubrovnik and Split airports closed their doors. Croatia Airlines has cancelled all of its flights until Sunday morning.
Serbia closed its air space at 16.00 CET. All flights to and from Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport have been cancelled until 07.10 CET Sunday morning. This evening’s flight from Podgorica to Niš has also been cancelled.
Airspace above Bosnia and Herzegovina has been shut down since 08.00 CET. The only flights that managed to depart beforehand were Jat Airways’ flight to Belgrade and Croatia Airlines’ service to Zagreb which had been rerouted to Split.
Serbia, which has control over Montenegro's air space, has announced that it will close it from 16.00 CET. The only flights operating out of Tivat and Podgorica this morning were to Belgrade and Niš. Montenegro Airlines has cancelled its service to Moscow this evening.
Macedonia is currently the only EX-YU republic not to be affected greatly, however Western European services have been cancelled.
Among others, Croatia Airlines’ new Dash 8 Q400 is stuck in Happy Valley, better known as Goose Bay, Canada. On its delivery flight to Zagreb, the aircraft is supposed to land in Iceland itself. Croatia’s newest Q400 is the last out of 6 to be delivered.
This is the first time that airspace across nearly the entire European continent has been closed since World War Two.