Boom! But latest volcano ash cloud may have a silver lining
Last year, airlines and holiday makers alike suffered at the hands of Eyjafjallajokul, the Icelandic volcano that grounded thousands of flights across Europe. It caused no end of misery, ruined the summer for millions of holiday-makers and walloped the profit margins of the travel industry.
So just in time for this year's summer, let's hear it for Grimsvotn, the Icelandic volcano currently billowing millions of tonnes of ash into the sky! The cloud of ash is due to drift across parts of Northern Europe in the next 24 hours, before heading further south to France and Spain.
Before you break the news to the kids that you'll be holidaying in Doncaster this year, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said that the situation is very different to that of 2010, due to new rules and regulations concerning flights through ash clouds. Airlines can now decide to fly or not if the Met Office deems an ash cloud to be low risk; if there are medium levels of ash, then CAA can decide whether to allow flights to go ahead.
That doesn't mean the regulators of airspace in other countries will necessarily agree, but the general consensus seems to be that there was too much caution last year, and far less risk posed than believed at the time. We'll find out what happens in the next day or so; the ash cloud from Grimsvotn is due to drift south across the sea between Iceland, Scotland and Ireland - typically the route of transatlantic flights.