6:05 am April 21, 2010, by Henry Unger
Airlines have lost at least $1.7 billion due to travel disruptions caused by the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland, an industry group said Wednesday as hundreds of planes finally landed or took off from airports around Europe, Associated Press reports.
Airlines lost revenues of $400 million each day during the first three days of grounding, IATA chief executive Giovanni Bisignani told a news conference in Berlin, AP reported. At one stage, 29 percent of global aviation and 1.2 million passengers a day were affected by the airspace closure ordered by European governments, who feared the risk that volcanic ash could pose to airplanes.
“For an industry that lost $9.4 billion last year and was forecast to lose a further $2.8 billion in 2010, this crisis is devastating,” Bisignani said.
For its part, Delta Air Lines canceled 400 trans-Atlantic flights through Monday, at a cost of some $5 million a day, or $20 million since volcanic ash first disrupted aviation, AJC reporter Kelly Yamanouchi writes.
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