Ash particles from Iceland’s still-erupting volcano remain high in the atmosphere and do not pose a health risk so far to people in Europe, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.
volcano ash impact
BERLIN – Airlines lost at least $1.7 billion in revenue during the volcanic ash crisis, an industry group said Wednesday as the debate heated up over whether European governments were justified in shutting down their airspace for so long.
Planes were flying into all of Europe’s top airports – London’s Heathrow, Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Germany’s hub at Frankfurt. Still experts predicted it could take days – even more than a week – to clear a backlog of stranded passengers after about 102,000 flights were canceled around the world.
Airline losses from the volcanic ash cloud climbed above $1 billion on Monday, and the industry demanded compensation from the European Union as officials agreed to let flights resume on a limited basis.
Airlines are losing as much as $300 million per day, with European companies like British Airways suffering the most. An umbrella group for the airline industry criticized European leaders’ handling of the disruption, which has grounded thousands of flights to and from Europe for the past five days.
Flights from large parts of Europe were set to resume on Tuesday under a deal to free up airspace closed by a huge ash cloud, but strengthened eruptions from an Icelandic volcano threatened to unravel the plans.
British air traffic controllers warned a new ash cloud was headed for major air routes, prompting British Airways to cancel its short-haul flights, while several countries either closed airports anew or curtailed use of their airspace.