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Obama leaves Ireland early due volcanic ash

Ryanair boss: volcanic ash won't close airspace
Planes grounded in Norway and Sweden

DUBLIN (AFP) - US President Barack Obama will leave Ireland for Britain on Monday night, a day ahead of schedule, because of fears over volcanic ash spewing from an Icelandic volcano, a White House official said.

"Due to a recent change in the trajectory in the plume of volcanic ash, Air Force One will depart Ireland for London tonight. The schedule for tomorrow will proceed as planned," the official said.

The ash cloud from the Grimsvoetn volcano was already causing "minor delays" to some flights in Britain, authorities said Monday.

Earlier, the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) in London said there was a risk some ash cloud may reach parts of northern Europe in the next 24 hours.

But it added that "at this time no disruption to flights as a result of the Icelandic volcanic eruption is anticipated in Irish airspace for the next 24 hours."

Obama and his wife Michelle had initially been due to fly into London on Tuesday morning after spending 24 hours in Ireland.

Instead they will now take off from Dublin on Monday evening heading for London's Stansted Airport.

Ash from a volcano in Iceland last year caused the biggest shutdown of European airspace since World War II because of fears it can cause damage to jet engines.


Last Updated (Monday, 23 May 2011 19:02)


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