My first reaction when I read about all the thousands of European flights grounded by the huge plume of ash from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano was one of vague relief. I’m glad it’s happening now, I mean, rather than 22 days hence when the Cannes Film Festival begins. My jet might not even leave New York under these conditions.

The eruption “was continuing as of early Sunday morning and possibly intensifying, with the ash plume rising to 30,000 feet,” a N.Y. Times report says.

“The cloud had extended as far south as Spain overnight, prompting the closure of airspace in the northern part of that country, according to Eurocontrol. Airports across most of the continent were expected to remain shuttered at least into Sunday afternoon, though a few countries, including France and Switzerland, had opened at least parts of their airspace to allow overflights above 35,000 feet.”