Airlines lost over $1.7 bln over volcanic ash cloud: IATA

20:00, April 21, 2010      

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Wednesday that airlines have suffered a loss of more than 1.7 billion U.S. dollars since the initial volcanic eruption in Iceland.

"Lost revenues now total more than 1.7 billion U.S. dollars for airlines alone," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's director general and CEO, at a press conference in Berlin. "In the first three days, 400 million dollars were lost for each day."

"About 29 percent of global aviation was impacted by this crisis, which affected 1.2 million passengers a day. The scale of the crisis eclipsed September 11 when U.S. airspace was closed for three days," he said.

He also urged governments to compensate airlines for the lost revenues, as the industry has been sank into its worst financial situation.

"It is hitting hardest where the carriers are in the most difficult financial situation. Europe's carriers were already expected to lose 2.2 billion U.S. dollars this year -- the largest in the industry," said Mr. Bisignani.

"This volcanic crisis is not the result of running our business badly. It is an extra-ordinary situation exaggerated with a poor decision-making process by national governments," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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