Europe's air travel chaos continues

Volcanic ash from Iceland grounds around 17,000 flights, disruption worse since 9/11

Europe's air travel chaos continues

Stranded: Passengers stand in a queue at a ticket counter at Frankfurt airport in Germany on Friday. REUTERS

About 17,000 flights were expected to be cancelled on Friday due to the dangers posed for a second day by volcanic ash from Iceland, aviation officials said. Airports in Britain, France, Germany, and across Europe were closed until at least Saturday.

“I would think Europe was probably experiencing its greatest disruption to air travel since 9/11,” said a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority, Britain’s aviation regulator.
“In terms of closure of airspace, this is worse than after 9/11. The disruption is probably larger than anything we’ve probably seen.”

Following the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on Washington and New York, US airspace was closed for three days and European airlines were forced to halt all transatlantic services.
Vulcanologists say the ash could cause problems to air traffic for up to 6 months if the eruption continues, but even if it is short-lived the financial impact on airlines could be significant.

The flight cancellations would cost carriers such as British Airways and Lufthansa about 10 million pounds a day, transport analyst Douglas McNeill said. “A couple of days like this won’t matter too much. If it goes on for weeks, that’s a different story.”
The volcano began erupting on Wednesday for the second time in a month from below the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, hurling a plume of ash 6 to 11 km into the atmosphere.
Reuters

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry