Further ban on flights into England, but Scottish airspace to reopen
16.04.10 | Philip Jones
The UK’s National Air Traffic Services has further extended the ban on flights coming to England until 7am tomorrow morning (17th April), but flights to Scotland and Northern Ireland will be allowed from 7pm this evening. NATS also said that “some” flights could be allowed into northern Britain as the Icelandic ash cloud drifts south, with the hope that Newcastle airport could reopen from 1am tomorrow morning.
The news opens up a chink of light for the London Book Fair with thousands of publishers, agents and booksellers expected to descend on London this week in ahead of the fair, which opens next week.
NATS said a further update would be issued at 8.30pm this evening, adding, “In general, the situation is dynamic and subject to change”.
The London Book Fair is continuing to monitor the situation and update its website: “Our customer service team are calling international exhibitors to offer assistance with manning stands and arranging alternative travel plans where possible. Our view is that the show must – and will – go on and we will provide all the help we can to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.”
There is now genuine concern over the South Africa Market Focus programme with a number of SA authors now stranded in their homeland. SA John van de Ruit, who was being flown over by Penguin SA, is the latest to have his travel arrangements disrupted, and is not now expected to fly until Monday evening.
LBF’s Amy Webster has been co-ordinating the Focus, with a note posted on Book SA reading: “I am meeting with PASA shortly to discuss different options for stands. Please start thinking about whether you have people in the UK who can come and assist with setting up, as this is the first step that we want to deal with.”