Hundreds of flights between Europe and North America were either delayed or canceled today because of the spreading cloud of volcanic ash stretching across much of the northern Atlantic. For instance, an Air France flight from Boston arrived in Paris today with a delay of more than four hours.
"We assume that basically most of the trans-Atlantic flights will have to be rerouted on Saturday," said a spokeswoman for Eurocontrol. "We expect substantial delays because of that." A trans-Atlantic trip from New York to Paris, normally about 3,600 miles, could be extended by another 600 miles with the necessary detours. The plume of ash forced the closure of 15 airports in northern Spain today and is expected to expand into southern France during the day. (Read more flight delays stories.)