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European airlines resume scheduled flights to most destinations. Most airports in Sweden and Norway remain closed.
Most airlines in European countries have returned to their planned mode of operation. According to the European Air Traffic Safety Organization Eurocontrol, about 80% of flights were operated. Fully air traffic in Europe, broken as a result of the volcanic eruption in Iceland, will be restored only after a few days.
Not the whole sky over Europe is open for flights
According to news agencies, many airports in Sweden and Norway are still closed. But German airlines, including Lufthansa, Germanwings and Air Berlin, operating the majority of flights from Germany to Russia, announced an almost complete restoration of their work schedule.
According to dpa, which refers to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the flight ban caused airlines total damage of about 1.3 billion euros.
The ban on flights cost airlines $ 1.7 billion
The six-day closure of airspace caused by the eruption of Eyyafyatlayokudl volcano in Iceland cost airlines $ 1.7 billion. This was announced on Wednesday, April 21, by the Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Giovanni Bizignani. According to him, only for three days with maximum interruptions – from Saturday to Monday – the total losses of airlines amounted to about $ 400 million per day.
Bizignani sharply criticized the fact that the airspace in many parts of Europe was closed on the basis of theoretical modeling, and not real facts. Test flights showed that these models turned out to be erroneous, quoted by the Bizignani agency dpa.
Compensate for losses
The IATA Director General welcomed the decision of the EU transport ministers to divide the airspace into three zones of varying degrees of risk, but expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that not all states complied with this decision. He demanded the development of common safety standards for the European airspace, about which the EU countries have been arguing to no avail for 20 years.
Giovanni Bisignani also demanded that European governments partially compensate airlines for losses in which carriers, he said, are completely innocent. He noted that liquidity problems are now primarily experienced by small and medium-sized companies.
3 million failed passengers
Due to the multi-day closure of airspace, airlines were unable to issue almost 3 million passengers for flights. As a result, the volume of passenger traffic in April will decrease by 13% compared with March, and this is without taking into account the fact that normal operation of airports will resume only in a few days, the Working Community of German Civil Airports (ADV) notes. Prior to the onset of the problems caused by the volcanic eruption, it was expected that the volume of passenger traffic in April would grow by 4 percent.
German Transport Minister defends tough measures
The Minister of Transport of Germany Peter Ramsauer spoke out in defense of the stringent restrictions on flights imposed in connection with the eruption of Eyyafyatlayokudl volcano.
Speaking in the Bundestag on April 21 with a government statement, Ramsauer emphasized that the main factor in making decisions throughout the whole time was to ensure maximum safety for people.