Iata slams Europe over volcano

2010-04-19 12:47
Paris - The International Air Transport Association (Iata) said on Monday European governments' response to the volcano crisis was inadequate and estimated its economic impact on airlines to be greater than the attacks on September 11 2001.

Giovanni Bisignani, head of the Iata airline industry body, estimated airline revenue losses were now reaching $250m a day, up from an earlier estimate of $200m on Friday.

Bisignani called for urgent action to safely re-open airspace and called for a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the UN aviation body.

"I would say that in a couple of weeks this will be a very embarrassing story for Europe," Bisignani told a news briefing in Paris.

"It took five days to organise a conference call with transport ministers with an emergency situation all over Europe and now expanding all over the world."

Quick recovery

Most of Europe's airspace has been closed since Thursday after a huge ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano spread out, stranding millions of business passengers and holidaymakers and paralysing freight and businesses worldwide.

"This volcano has crippled the aviation sector, firstly in Europe and is now having worldwide implications. The scale of the economic impact (on aviation) is now greater than 9/11 when US airspace was closed for three days," Bisignani said.

But Bisignani added that the US attacks had triggered a loss of confidence in air travel that was not present today. He also predicted that recovery from the current crisis would be quicker once the clouds dispersed.

"We have predicted at least $200m a day in lost revenue that is a conservative number. Today, that is more like $250m. On top of this you have the additional cost for re-routing and compensation," he said.

European officials said they hoped to significantly increase take-offs to up to half of scheduled flights on Monday from over a fifth on Sunday while the EU summoned ministers for talks as pressure for a solution to the travel crisis built up.

Some European countries announced partial airspace re-openings, but others kept no-fly decrees in place.

Safe

The Dutch airline KLM, which has flown several test flights, said most European airspace was safe despite the plume of ash and dispatched two commercial freight flights to Asia on Sunday.

Shares in European airlines were hit hard on Monday with shares in Air France down nearly 7% at the start of trading and by 08:15 GMT, they still had lost 4% at €11.96.

Meanwhile, shares in British Airways were down 3.11%, in Lufthansa they were down 4.6%, in Air Berlin.

The STOXX Europe 600 Travel and Leisure Index was the top sector loser on Monday, down 1.6%.
Read more on:    iata  |  iceland volcano
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may be bothering you. A flooded mind and impulsive reactions are not a good combination as you are not thinking clearly....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.