Latest eruption unlikely to destroy European airlines' recovery: expert

09:17, May 25, 2011      

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The Grimsvotn Icelandic volcano which began spewed ashes on Saturday would have a less negative effect on the European airline industry than the Eyjafjallajokul eruption last year, an expert said on Tuesday.

"Compared to the disruption caused by the April 2010 ash cloud, which closed European airspace for two weeks and resulted in 100,000 grounded flights, the European airline industry is in better shape this time round," said Sabrina Ran, associate director in Fitch's corporate team.

"The impact of lost revenue per day to the whole industry (estimated last year by the International Air Transport Association) is around 150 million euros (210 million U.S. dollars) in the worst case scenario - that is, assuming the similar level of airspace closure to that of 2010," Ran added.

"However, the impact is likely to be limited as the agency expects better coordination between European air traffic control authorities and the commercial airlines would occur this time round to keep any travel disruption to a minimum."

The European airline industry has been on a recovery trend since the second half of 2010. According to the Association of European Airlines, the total passenger traffic had increased by around 5 percent from May 2010 to April 2011.

Source: Xinhua
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