UK

Could Iceland's Volcano Cause Travel Chaos Again?

22/08/2014 09:11 BST | Updated 22/08/2014 09:59 BST

Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano, which scientists say is poised to erupt, could cause major disruption to air travel, as residents from the north of the country were evacuated.

It is the frozen island's largest volcano and sits under the country’s most expansive glacier.

The Icelandic Met Office on Monday has raised the risk level to the airline industry to orange, fourth on a five-level scale, with magma movement detected 10km from the surface of the volcano. More than 3,000 small earthquakes beneath Bardarbunga have now reached magnitudes of up to 3.8.

bardarbunga

Ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 left 10 million passengers stranded and caused traffic chaos across Europe in 2010, shutting down airspace for almost a week.

Grímsvötn, the most active volcano in Iceland, also caused disruption to air travel for much of northern Europe in 2011

But one tour operator has found a way to monetise the potential travel chaos, offering customers the chance to fly immediately to the site of the erupting volcano as soon as it is safe to do so.

Discover the World has set up a ‘volcano hotline’ which will inform interested travellers at short notice about the eruption, and fly them out to the site by helicopter or transport them by jeep.