The European Commission estimates that the economic impact of six-day airspace shutdown due to the volcanic ash cloud could be €2.5
The ash cloud that disrupted Europe's air traffic last week cost the air industry up to €2.5 billion, transport commissioner Siim Kallas said
Tuesday (27 April). "We are working with preliminary figures taken from different stakeholders and organisations ranging between €1.5 and €2.5
billion, but of course we need to carefully assess the content of these numbers," Mr. Kallas explained during a press briefing in Brussels. The
figures are based on various estimates by airlines, airports, ground handling, tour operators and other service providers affected by the week-long
disruption. The total or partial closure of 313 European airports between 15 and 20 April represents a loss revenue of €250 million, while air
navigation service providers are estimated to have lost €25 million a day during that period. According to Eurocontrol, the agency which pools air
traffic data from 38 European countries, over 100,000 flights were grounded and some 10 million passengers unable to fly following the eruption of
Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which released a massive ash cloud into the atmosphere. Volcanic ash contains substances that harm aircraft
engines, but later test flights in areas adjacent to the cloud proved that the decision to close down the entire airspace was somewhat hasty.
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