Mount Etna eruption causes travel chaos

Sicilian volcano Mount Etna has erupted causing chaos for airlines with flights routed via the island.

The massive plume of ash and smoke caused by the eruption has already caused easyJet to cancel flights from several UK cities including Edinburgh, as the Italian island’s main airport, Catania, was forced to close. The eruption began overnight Sunday to Monday, and although the lava flow subsided before dawn, ash was still billowing from one of the craters.

No flights will be allowed in until at least 6 PM UK time, the airport said, in a message released earlier today on X (Twitter).

Aviation data provider Cirium said that the airport was due to handle 235 flights on Monday. Other airlines affected include British Airways, Ryanair and KLM, with flights cancelled, delayed or diverted to other airports on the island.

This latest setback at Sicily’s main airport comes just weeks after a fire caused lengthy disruption and forced the facility to close temporarily, impacting on the popular holiday island’s busiest time of the year.

Mount Etna last saw a major eruption in 1992.