Transport minister holds volcano fallout summit

German Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer will host a meeting for airlines and aviation officials in Berlin on Tuesday to review ways to handle future problems with volcanic ash.

Transport minister holds volcano fallout summit
Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano on April 19. Photo: DPA

Meanwhile airlines are said to be planning to demand compensation for the several-day flight ban that cost them billions of euros earlier this month.

Air traffic over Germany is back on schedule following the April 21 decision to lift the flight ban put in place to protect planes from a giant plume of volcanic ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano. But now experts from the European Commission, the German Weather Service (DWD), airlines and air traffic experts must sift through the fallout.

Their plan is to devise new safety standards and thresholds for measuring volcanic ash in the atmosphere.


Carriers have criticised authorities for the ban, saying the lack of standards exaggerated fears, costing the industry $1.7 billion in lost sales alone, according to an estimate by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

According to daily Berliner Zeitung on Tuesday, German airlines Lufthansa and Air Berlin, British carrier EasyJet, and Austrian Airlines are all planning to sue for damages.

Lufthansa leader Wolfgang Mayrhuber will detail losses and possible plans to demand compensation during Tuesday’s meeting in Berlin, the paper said.

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