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Ash cans flights for another day

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Flights to and from the UK have been cancelled until at least 1am Tuesday.

The Met Office will continue to issue updates four times a day but NATS is currently warning that the ash cloud remains dynamic. The air traffic organisation said it was working with airlines, airports, engine manufacturers and government to get planes back in the sky.

Later today the UK's government's emergency committee Cobra will meet to discuss the situation. Speaking yesterday Lord Mandelson suggested that Spain could be used as a hub: Brits would fly there, and then the Royal Navy could be drafted in to ship people back to the UK.

Commandeering civilian ships is another possibility - one which would make for more comfortable journeys. About 200,000 British people are believed to be stranded.

European Commission president José Manuel Barroso has set up an ad hoc group to work with Eurocontrol and national authorities which maintain responsibility for their own airspace.

Europe hopes to get about 50 per cent of flights running again today. Airports in Finland and Spain have already been reopened.

Ryanair has cancelled all flights until Wednesday at least. ®

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