In this image made available by the Icelandic Coastguard, taken, Wednesday April 14, 2010, smoke and steam rises from the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, which erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters. Authorities evacuated 800 residents from around the glacier as rivers rose by up to 10 feet (3 meters). Emergency officials and scientists said the eruption under the ice cap was 10 to 20 times more powerful than one last month, and carried a much greater risk of widespread flooding. (AP Photo/Icelandic Coastguard, ho) **EDITORIAL USE ONLY**
BERLIN (AP) - Airliners are gradually reoccupying the skies over Europe after massive disruptions due to ash from an erupting volcano in Iceland.
Germany's air traffic controllers say they're gradually reopening the country's airspace today. London's Heathrow airport, Europe's busiest, has also reopened, delivering rays of hope to stranded travelers.
Officials say it will be weeks before all stranded travelers can be brought home but with planes flying again passengers have a reason for hope.
The International Air Transport Association says disruptions to European air travel from the volcanic ash cloud have cost the industry at least $1.7 billion.
Air traffic control agency Eurocontrol said it expects at least 15,000 flights to go ahead across Europe. Generally, about 28,000 flights are scheduled on Wednesdays across Europe.