Airlines losing $200m a day: Iata

2010-04-16 23:08

Geneva - Air traffic disruption brought about by the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland is estimated to be costing airlines more than $200m per day, the International Air Transport Association said on Friday.

"At current levels of disruption, Iata's initial and conservative estimate of the financial impact on airlines is in excess of $200m per day in lost revenues," said Anthony Concil, a spokesperson for the airline association.

He added that Iata had set up a crisis centre in Montreal and that it was "closely co-ordinating" with European air navigation services.

The eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in southeast Iceland has caused havoc to air traffic across Europe.

As the cloud of ash spread southwards and eastwards, several authorities in Europe closed up airspace leading to thousands of flight cancellations.

Concil said that beyond lost revenues, airlines would also incur additional costs for rerouting their aircraft, as well as compensation for stranded passengers.

The association represents about 230 airlines accounting for 93% of scheduled international air traffic but does not include the major budget carriers.