Iceland has declared a state of emergency as hundreds of earthquakes struck the southwestern Reykjanes peninsula in the past 48 hours.
Despite fears of an impending volcanic eruption, flights from the UK to Keflavik international airport 10 miles north of the eruption site are going ahead as usual.
The first of 14 scheduled flights on Saturday from the UK took off without incident from London’s Luton Airport at 6.32am and landed at 9.33am at Keflavik international airport, about 10 miles north of the eruption site.
The 7.40am flight from Manchester airport also safely arrived at Keflavik international airport at 10.30am.
Five more flights are set to touch down in Iceland later on Saturday. From the capital, an easyJet flight will leave from London Gatwick at 2.30pm and another from London Heathrow at 8.40pm.
A further easyJet flight is set to leave Manchester Airport at 4.10pm and another easyJet plane will set off from Edinburgh at 5.15pm.
From Glasgow, an Icelandair jet will fly out at 12.45pm.
A spokesperson for easyJet said: “Our flying schedule is currently operating as normal however we are monitoring the situation closely and should this change we will contact customers directly to advise on their flights.”
The remaining 13 are on airlines including British Airways, Icelandair and Wizz Air are all flying to Keflavik. Nine are from London, three from Manchester and one each from Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Another flight from London Gatwick airport to Iceland’s northern city, Akureyri, about 200 miles from the seismic activity, arrived shortly after 10am.
Foreign Office advice is regarded by the UK travel industry as the arbiter of whether or not a destination is safe.
Were it to warn against travel to parts of Iceland, holidaymakers already there would be moved and no further departures would operate to those areas.
The Foreign Office ramped up their travel advice today, saying the threat of a volcanic eruption is increasingly possible.
The official advice reads: “Earthquakes and indications of volcanic activity have increased above normal levels on the Reykjanes peninsula, southwest of Reykjavik.“The Icelandic authorities continue to monitor the area closely, particularly the area northwest of Mt Thorbjörn near the Svartsengi power plant and the Blue Lagoon. On 10 November, a Civil Protection Alert was declared after an intense swarm of earthquakes.
“The town of Grindavík was evacuated as a precaution. Some roads have been closed and visitors are advised to stay away from the area.
“Keflavik International Airport is operating as normal. While there is no current eruption, it is increasingly possible that one could occur. You should monitor local media for updates and follow the authorities advice on travel to the area.”
The advice stops well short of advising against travel to Iceland, meaning airlines and holiday companies are operating as normal – with no automatic right to cancel.
The much-loved Blue Lagoon geothermal spa will remain closed until 7am on 16 November as it felt the tremors of one of the quakes.
The town of Grindavík was evacuated and some roads have been closed and visitors are advised to stay away from the area.