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Volcanic ash causes airport disruption

Airline traffic at UK airports ground to a halt today following a volcanic eruption in the Eyjafjallajoekull region of Iceland.

Slowly moving volcanic ash, which contains tiny particles of rock, glass and sand, can cause damage to aircraft engines. Such a risk has prompted the Air Traffic Control Service (Nats) to announce that no flights will be able to enter UK airspace between midday and 6pm.

A spokesperson for Nats said: "Nats is working with Eurocontrol and our colleagues in Europe's other air navigation service providers to take the appropriate action to ensure safety in accordance with international aviation policy."

Gatwick, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airport were the first to ground aircraft, with Heathrow and Stansted airport suspending operations from midday.

Travellers caught up in the delays have been advised to book an airport hotel until the problems subside. Booking an airport hotel with Holiday Extras can cost as little as £35 per night, and provides peace of mind as well as a relaxing start to a trip abroad.

Matthew Paxton, chief operating officer at Holiday Extras, said: "Pre-booking a hotel would be a good option for those passengers who are expecting to fly tomorrow morning. By reserving your room at an airport hotel you can afford to relax during this time of uncertainty and get safely to the airport in good time."