Both Air France and British Airways have flown test flights in airspace outside the ash plume.
April 19: Both Air France and British Airways have flown test flights to see what effect the volcanic ash cloud has on aircraft.
Air France flew the first of a five planned tests on April 18 from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to at Toulouse-Blagnac, where “visual inspections did not show any damage”, says the airline. It also said that conditions during the flight were “normal”. The flights are being conducted in agreement with the French Civil Aviation Administration (Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile).
A British Airways Boeing 747 completed a 2 hour 46 minute flight the same day, flying from Heathrow over the Atlantic Ocean at 40,000ft, 550 miles due west of Cardiff.
BA says that conditions were “perfect” and the aircraft encountered no difficulties. It will now undergo a full technical analysis at British Airways’ engineering base at Cardiff.