Flights scrapped as Iceland ash heads to N.L.

Volcanic ash from Iceland is heading for Newfoundland, prompting several airlines to cancel flights to and from St. John's.

Volcanic ash from Iceland is heading for Newfoundland, prompting several airlines to cancel flights to and from St. John's.

Transport Canada and Nav Canada have informed the St. John's International Airport that there is about a 30 per cent chance the ash will hit St. John's airspace, an airport spokeswoman said late Sunday.

Since Thursday, millions of passengers have had plans foiled or delayed because of a ban on air travel that has gradually expanded over large swaths of Europe as the ash cloud from a volcano in Iceland continued to spread and move across the continent.

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Air Canada, WestJet and Porter Airlines have cancelled flights as a precaution on Sunday evening until 9 a.m. local time Monday, airport spokeswoman Marie Manning said. At least 13 flights, including one from Continental Airlines, have been cancelled, according to the St. John's International Airport Authority's website.

Neither Transport Canada nor Nav Canada have issued an order to shut the airspace, so each airline will have to assess whether or not to resume operations after 9 a.m., she said.

Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Man said the airline has also cancelled Monday morning flights to and from Gander and Deer Lake.

She advised passengers to check the airline's website for the most up-to-date information.

The Juno Awards were held in St. John's on Sunday evening, and some musicians were worried they would have trouble getting back to the mainland.  

Triple winner Michael Bublé told The Canadian Press that he had to cut short his celebrations in the city because his pilot informed him that the ash cloud could hit the city by 3 a.m.

"It could be three days before anybody leaves here. It's causing a little bit of panic. I hope I'm not bringing terrible news to everybody but it wouldn't be too bad to have to stay here for a few days," said Bublé.

Most overnight flights into St. John's were cancelled, as were departures Monday morning.

Air Canada is also telling passengers that service to western Newfoundland airports, Deer Lake and Gander is affected by the ash threat.

Reporting from St. John's International Airport on Monday morning, CBC reporter Vik Adhopia said at least 10 flights were cancelled by 7:30 a.m. NT.

With files from The Canadian Press