Friday, April 16, 2010

"Ash Cloud Over Europe May Cost Airlines $1 Billion" (AFR.DE; BAY.L; DAL)

From Bloomberg:
Airlines may lose $1 billion in revenue because a cloud of volcanic ash threatens to keep dozens of airports in the U.K. and northern Europe shut for three more days, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation said.

“The lost revenue for the industry could be in the hundreds of millions, possibly as high as $1 billion,” Derek Sadubin, chief operating officer of the Sydney-based industry consultant, said in comments e-mailed to Bloomberg News today.

Some six million passengers will be affected if the shutdown of European airports continues, the consultant said. Delta Air Lines Inc., British Airways Plc and Qantas Airways Ltd. are among the dozens of airlines that have scrapped services after Iceland’s 5,500-foot Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted and winds carried dust across a swath of northern Europe.

“It will take days to restore schedules, even if the scare is called off today,” Capa said in an e-mailed report.

Service disruptions intensified as airports in the region remained shut, possibly leading to the cancellation of half of all departures today. British airspace will be closed until at least 1 a.m. tomorrow, according to flight-control authority National Air Traffic Services, compounding disruptions that are among the most severe in U.K. aviation history.

In Germany, 10 airports, including Frankfurt, were shuttered, according to the DFS air traffic control agency.


Qantas, which has more than 1,000 passengers holding at Asian stopovers, canceled four services today and is unlikely to resume Europe flights before April 18, spokesman David Epstein told reporters. Singapore Airlines Ltd. axed eight flights while Air China Ltd. and All Nippon Airways Co. also scrapped services....MORE