• Germany's news in English

Volcano chaos to cost airlines $1.7 billion

AFP · 21 Apr 2010, 14:08

Published: 21 Apr 2010 10:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 Apr 2010 14:08 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"For an industry that lost $9.4 billion (€7 billion) last year and was forecast to lose a further $2.8 billion in 2010, this crisis is devastating," Giovanni Bisignani, chief of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said in Berlin.

At its height, "the crisis impacted 29 percent of global aviation and affected 1.2 million passengers a day. The scale of the crisis eclipsed 9/11 when US airspace was closed for three days," he added.

For a three-day period from April 17-19, when disruptions were greatest, lost revenues reached $400 million per day, he said, calling an earlier IATA estimate of $200 million per day "conservative."

In addition to the loss in revenues, and despite paying less for fuel, carriers had to pay for accommodation for stranded customers as well as food and alternative modes of transport to get them home, he said.

"We've seen a week without revenue but that has not stopped the costs," Bisignani, whose organisation represents some 230 airlines worldwide, said.

Bisignani urged governments to look at ways to compensate airlines for the "extraordinary" crisis, something he said was exacerbated by "a poor decision-making process by national governments."

In the aftermath of the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, the US government provided $5 billion to compensate airlines for the costs of grounding the fleet for three days, he said.

"I am the first one to say that this industry does not want or need bailouts. But this crisis is not the result of running our business badly," he said.

"The airlines could not do business normally. Governments should help carriers recover the cost of this disruption."

He also called for "urgent" government measures like relaxing airport slot rules, lifting night flight restrictions and addressing "unfair" regulations whereby airlines have to pay for stranded travellers' hotels and meals.

"This crisis is an act of God, completely beyond the control of airlines. Insurers certainly see it this way," he said. "It is urgent that the European Commission finds a way to ease this unfair burden."

Story continues below…

He also called for Europe to develop more quickly a unified policy on regulating its airspace.

"The chaos and economic losses of the last week are a clarion call to Europe's political leaders that a Single European Sky is critical and urgent," Bisignani said.

Europe's airspace reopened for business on Wednesday after all its major airports resumed operations, with three-quarters of flights scheduled in Europe expected to take place.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:25 April 21, 2010 by chimpansi
Just 1.7bn? I guess they are missing something. It has to be more.
21:15 April 22, 2010 by Prufrock2010
The airlines will simply pass these losses on to consumers by charging more for carry on baggage, checked baggage, peanuts, etc.
Today's headlines
Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd