European flights are slowly taking to the skies after five days of being grounded by a huge plume of ash from a volcano in Iceland.
A European air traffic control agency (Eurocontrol) says at least 50 percent of scheduled flights from Europe are expected to take off Tuesday. Planes are now departing from Paris, Madrid, Switzerland, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
But flights in Britain are still grounded because of a new ash cloud heading toward that country. Britain has sent three navy ships to bring its citizens home from continental Europe.
EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas says that based on the latest forecast, about half of the EU territory will be affected by the ash cloud Tuesday.
Iceland's Meteorological Office says that most of the eruptive material from the volcano has been ejected, indicating that the ash cloud is diminishing and that the eruption is entering a new phase.
The head of the International Air Transport Association (Giovanni Bisignani) said the scale of the economic impact on aviation, reaching $1 billion, is greater than the September 11, 2001 terror attacks when U.S. airspace was closed for three days. He called the situation "embarrassing" and a "European mess."