Volcano cloud shrinking

Irish bookies, Paddy Powers, has started taking bets on which airports will close next but the ash cloud, for the time being, appears to be shrinking.

Scientist has said that the ash plume from the Icelandic volcano has been in decline for the last few days. The ash column, rising from the volcano, dropped by five kilometers in width to just three kilometers.

However, there have been warnings that this could be the calm phase before further eruptions.

Paddy Powers bookies are taking bets on the volcano. Specifically they are taking bets on specific Irish and British airports closing for at least an hour on dates between June 1 and August 31.

They are offering odds of up to 20-1 to hedge against flight delays or cancellations. Paddy Powers has said that he will allow up to $2,480 per customer per day and $6,200 for wagers covering several days.

Many travelers are using it as a form of insurance as many insurance companies are refusing to pay out for trips disrupted by the ash plume.

“We had quite a few inquiries from organizers of golf trips and things like that and decided this could be an interesting new market for us," said a spokesperson. "You don't have to travel to bet. We gladly take bets from speculators."

Airports included in the bets are Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast, Shannon and Cork.