This is why Europe is panicking: click below for a real time volcanic ash diffusion chart.
EUROCONTROL expects approximately 4,000 flights to take place today in European airspace. On a normal Sunday, we would expect 24,000. By the end of today, we expect that more than 63,000 flights in total will have been cancelled since Thursday 15 April. A summary table of the impact on flights is below.
At the current time, air traffic control services are not being provided to civil aircraft in the major part of European airspace. This includes Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, most of France, most of Germany, Hungary, Ireland, northern Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, north Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the UK. In some of these areas the upper airspace has been made available, depending on the observed and forecasted area of possible ash contamination. However, it is difficult to access this airspace as in most cases the surrounding area is not available for flights.
Southern Europe, including parts of Spain, Portugal, the southern Balkan area, southern Italy, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey remain open and flights are taking place in these areas.
The next update will be sent out to the press around 18:30 CET on 18 April.
(graph courtesy of the HuffPo)