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Travel Troubles

Travel Troubles

Sat, 04/17/2010 - 14:01

As I write this from my desk in Entebbe, Uganda, I'm very very aware that I should at this precise moment in time have been home in Eindhoven, helping and participating in a braai (barbeque, for those not in the know) to celebrate the birthday of one of our sons, who turned 25 earlier this week.  I had scheduled my flight back home to be there in time well in advance for this braai.  

Iceland volcano ash cloud extent

Had I scheduled to leave here just a day earlier, I would have been there on his actual birthday, and... the ash cloud from the volcanic eruption in Iceland would not have reached Europe.  Now, I honestly don't know when I'll be able to travel home, and neither do thousands of other travellers, since most airports in Europe are closed and most of Europe is in fact now a "no-fly zone".  The microscopic glassy splinters that make up volcanic ash, are not particularly good for jet engines...

The particular volcano (the Icelandic name is just too difficult to remember) is just a rather average-sized volcano.  It absolutely stunning to see the effect it is having on air travel, and also on the European economy.  Import/export must be suffering already (nothing flying into the EU from the USA or China...) and airlines are taking a hammering.  Airline stocks are already down a few percent, I wonder how many will not survive if this keeps going for more than a week...

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