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In the past 48 hours, the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland has experienced hundreds of earthquakes, leading to a state of emergency being declared.
Despite concerns about a potential volcanic eruption, flights from the United Kingdom to Keflavik International Airport, located 10 miles north of the eruption site, are operating as scheduled.
On Sunday 12 November, all scheduled flights from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Manchester landed without incident.
The first flight to arrive in Iceland on 13 November was the easyJet departure from Manchester at 6:20am. This was followed by the Wizz Air flight from London Luton, landing at 10:12am local time after departing at 7:15am.
The easyJet flight from Luton at 7:35am arrived at 10:18am. The British Airways flight from Heathrow arrived at 10:49am. As of now, other flights that have taken off without any issues include the 7:40am Jet flight from Glasgow, the 8:35am Jet2 flight from Manchester, and the 10:55am Play flight from Stansted.
There are 11 more services planned for Monday, November 13. Icelandair is offering two services from Heathrow at 12:15pm and 8:40pm, one from Gatwick at 12:00pm, one from Manchester at 11:55am, and one from Glasgow at 12:45pm. In addition, easyJet will have one service leaving Gatwick at 2:25pm and another departing from Manchester at 4:10pm.
There are four additional flights leaving from Luton. The initial departure is set for 1:45pm, followed by others at 2:10pm, 2:25pm, and 8:30pm. The 2:10pm flight is serviced by Wizz Air, while the remaining flights are operated by easyJet.
An easyJet representative stated that their flight schedule is currently running as usual. However, they are closely monitoring the situation and will directly inform customers if there are any changes that may affect their flights.
The travel industry in the UK considers Foreign Office advice as the authoritative source for determining the safety of a destination.
If there was a warning to avoid traveling to certain parts of Iceland, tourists already in those areas would be relocated and no more trips would be made to those regions.
On November 11th, the Foreign Office issued an updated travel advisory, stating that the potential for a volcanic eruption is becoming more likely.
According to the official statement, there has been a rise in the occurrence of earthquakes and signs of volcanic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula, located southwest of Reykjavik. The Icelandic government is closely monitoring the area, particularly the northwest section near Mt Thorbjörn, the Svartsengi power plant, and the Blue Lagoon. On November 10th, a Civil Protection Alert was issued following a significant series of earthquakes.
As a precaution, the town of Grindavík has been evacuated. Certain roads have been shut down and it is advised that visitors avoid the area.
“The operations at Keflavik International Airport are currently unaffected. Though there is no active volcanic eruption at the moment, there is a growing likelihood of one happening. It is advised to keep track of local news for any changes and adhere to the guidance of authorities regarding travel to the region.”
The recommendation does not discourage traveling to Iceland, so airlines and vacation companies are functioning as usual. However, there is no guarantee for a cancellation option.
The popular Blue Lagoon geothermal spa will be closed until 7am on November 16th due to tremors caused by recent earthquakes.
The city of Grindavík was cleared and certain roads have been shut down, with a recommendation for visitors to avoid the region.