Britain's skies have reopened after flying restrictions over the UK were eased.
Airlines rushed to reorganise schedules after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) eased the rules allowing a phased reopening of airspace from 10pm.
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said all British airports could reopen and he expected them to remain open.
Willie Walsh, British Airways' chief executive, said: "On behalf of the tens of thousands of customers stranded around the globe, we are delighted the authorities have paid heed to the arguments we and the industry have put forward."
A spokesman for BAA, which operates airports including Heathrow, said it would do everything possible to "get people moving", adding: "We are ready to open, but until further notice passengers must contact their airline before travelling to the airport."
Just before 10pm a BA flight from Vancouver, in Canada, touched down at Heathrow.
Lord Adonis said: "The CAA have been working around the clock with the aircraft manufacturing industry, the airlines and the research community to better understand how different concentrations of ash affect aircraft engines.
"As a result, the CAA has now established a wider area in which it is safe to fly, consistent with the framework agreed by the EU transport ministers yesterday."