London (CNN) — A cloud of ash from Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano spread toward central Europe on Tuesday, forcing airlines in Britain to cancel hundreds of flights for the second time in little more than a year.
The ash cloud began to reach London’s Heathrow airport — the world’s busiest international air travel hub — around lunchtime, a computer model indicated. The European air traffic control organization Eurocontrol reported about 500 flights in British airspace would be canceled Tuesday, roughly double the number expected earlier in the day.
The ash cloud was projected to cover all of British airspace by early Wednesday morning and will be densest over Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England, according to Britain’s weather agency, the Met Office.
Germany’s meteorological agency projected that the cloud would spread across the country’s north and could reach Berlin around midnight Tuesday, raising the possibility of more cancellations. And there was a “strong possibility” it could also affect Denmark and parts of Scandinavia by the end of the day, Eurocontrol said.