The impact of the Ash Attack on the aviation industry has been profound - in a short space of time. CAPA estimates The Ash Attack has already affected the travel plans of 8 million passengers in Europe and around the world, causing at least USD1 billion in lost (and unrecoverable) revenue for the worldwide aviation industry. To this should be added lost ancillary revenues and the costs airlines will incur for re-routing aircraft, as well as caring for stranded passengers and stranded aircraft at various ports. The total cost for the aviation industry (airlines, airports, suppliers, freight operators, handlers etc) could be well over USD2 billion, and rising with each day of disruption.
See CAPA's latest analysis: Volcano fallout: Ash Attack hits airlines where it hurts most. USD2bn impact for aviation and rising
European Commission: EU President Barroso announced (18-Apr-2010) the establishment of an ad-hoc group to assess the impact of the situation created by the volcanic ash cloud on the air travel industry and the economy in general. VP Kallas, responsible for Transport, will lead the group, assisted by VP Almunia (Competition and State Aids) and Commissioner Rehn (Economic and Monetary Affairs). Kallas has also been asked to liaise closely with the Spanish Transport Council Presidency with a view to the appropriate contacts between the Member States and in particular the consideration of an extraordinary Transport Council meeting or video conference. European Commission also confirmed the ad hoc group is considering a waiver of European state aid to allow EU member Stated to channel emergency funding to airlines (AP, 18-Apr-2010). [more – European Commission]
EU Transport Commissioner: “It is clear that this is not sustainable. We cannot just wait until this ash cloud dissipates,” Siim Kallas, Transport Commissioner. Source: Reuters, 18-Apr-2010.
Spanish Secretary of State for EU Affairs, Diego Lopez Garrido, forecast 50% of flights could operate within Europe on 19-Apr-2010. He also stated that the present situation was unsustainable, but authorities cannot simply wait for the ash clouds to completely disperse (Reuters, 18-Apr-2010). Test flights have been conducted by Lufthansa (11), KLM (nine) and Air France (seven), with no adverse effects reported.
European Aviation Safety Agency: "There is currently no consensus as to what consists an acceptable level of ash in the atmosphere. This is what we are concerned about and this is what we want to bring about so that we can start operating aircraft again in Europe,” Daniel Hoeltgen, Spokesman. Source; Reuters, 18-Apr-2010.
Association of European Airlines & ACI EUROPE: Stated the consequences of the ash cloud are devastating for the aviation industry, and are now expanding to the wider economy, given the reliance of businesses on aviation. According to the industry bodies, procedures applied in other parts of the world for volcanic eruptions do not appear to require the kind of restrictions that are presently being imposed in Europe. The associations are calling for an immediate reassessment of the present restrictions at European level. [more – AEA/ACI Europe]
AEA: “Verification flights undertaken by several of our airlines have revealed no irregularities at all; this confirms our requirement that other options should be deployed to determine genuine risk. For example, the FAA has a world-established process of identifying clear no-fly zones. Airlines must be able to fly where it is safe to fly and make decisions accordingly. It is what our passengers demand of us,” Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus, Secretary General. Source: AEA, 18-Apr-2010.
ACI EUROPE: “With 313 airports paralysed at the moment, the impact is already worst than 9/11. More than 6.8 million passengers have been affected so far and European airports have lost close to GBP136 million. Many thousands of passengers are still stuck at airports because of this situation. While safety remains a non-negotiable priority, it is not incompatible with our legitimate request to reconsider the present restrictions,” Olivier Jankovec, Director General. Source: ACI EUROPE, 18-Apr-2010.
IATA: Estimated the crisis will have an impact in excess of USD200 million per day in lost revenue for airlines. In addition to lost revenues, airlines will incur added costs for re-routing of aircraft, care for stranded passengers and stranded aircraft at various ports. [more - IATA]
UNWTO: Called for solidarity among the travel and tourism industry and urged the fair treatment of travellers and foster close cooperation in order to mitigate as much as possible the negative impact of the current situation on travellers. It stressed that even in exceptional situations , passenger rights continue to apply According to the UNTWTO, Europe receives 700,000 travellers per day. [more - UNWTO]
European air traffic situation: uncertainty prevails
ANSPs: Most Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) have closed all their airspace until late Monday (19-Apr-2010), although the situation remains highly uncertain and ANSPs are working with EUROCONTROL, the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre London and European authorities. Some ANSPs have opened airports and airspace sections to IFR operations. VFR operations are permitted by some ANSPs at low altitudes.
CANSO: Warned that the knock-on effect of volcanic ash plume over Northern Europe could disrupt European airspace for several days. CANSO noted that air traffic control organisations are "following long-established protocols designed to ensure passenger safety". [more - CANSO]
CANSO: “This entire situation has a significant impact on the airspace system and will stretch ANSP resources around the world, but particularly in Europe. Traffic will have to be reorganised or re-routed and flights replanned, all on a dynamic and quite unpredictable basis. We will have to expect some knock-on effect to the system for several days. But air traffic control organisations will be taking safe and sensible decisions, and are following the correct policies for volcanic ash plumes which were established and enhanced after serious incidents in 1982 and 1989,” Graham Lake, Director General. Source: CANSO, 16-Apr-2010.
EUROCONTROL: Stated it expects more than 63,000 flights in total will have been cancelled between 15-Apr-2010 and 19-Apr-2010. Flight cancellations have progressively worsened as the volcanic ash cloud has spread south through European airspace.
European airspace movements:
- 15-Apr-2010: 20,842, -27.1% year-on-year;
- 16-Apr-2010: 11,659; -59.2%;
- 17-Apr-2010: 4,886, -78.4%;
- 18-Apr-2010: 4,000, -84% (estimated).
Air traffic control services are not being provided to civil aircraft in the major part of European airspace, including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, most of France, most of Germany, Hungary, Ireland, northern Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, north Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the UK.
Southern Europe, including parts of Spain, Portugal, the southern Balkan area, southern Italy, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey remain open and flights are taking place in these areas. [more - EUROCONTROL]
Individual European ANSPs:
- Avinor: Airspace opened for traffic from Stavanger and north to Berlevåg. Airspace is still closed in the eastern part of Finnmark (Kirkenes, Vadsø, Vardø og Båtsfjord). Oslo airport, Gardermoen (OSL) will be opened for limited traffic and there may be expansions during the night. The airspace over Kristiansand (Kjevik), Torp and Rygge is still closed. [more - Avinor]
- Belgocontrol: Airspace closed until 2000 on 19-Apr-2010. IFR flights are not authorized. VFR flights below 4.500 ft during daylight conditions. [more - Belgocontrol]
- DFS: Airspace of German airports is expected to be closed until 1400 on 19-Apr-2010. [more - DFS]
- EANS Estonia: Airspace closed for IFR (Instrument Flight rules) traffic by until 1500 on 19-Apr-2010. No current restrictions in place for visual air traffic; air traffic controllers continue working as usual and services are provided, if necessary. [more - EANS]
- Finavia: Tampere-Pirkkala and Turku airports opened between 0000 and 1800 local time on 19-Apr-2010. Helsinki Airport closed to flight operations. [more - Finavia]
- Hungarocontrol: Airspace will be closed from 1900 16-Apr-2010. No timeframe given for potential re-opening. [more - Hungarocontrol]
- Irish Aviation Authority: Irish airspace closed to commercial traffic until at least 1300 on 19-Apr-2010. No commercial passenger flights, including North American traffic, will operate from any Irish airport during this period. [more - IAA]
- LFV: Airspace north of the 62° latitude (north of Söderhamn) is open, as are blocks of Norwegian airspace. Restrictions still apply to the remainder of Swedish airspace. The overall picture regarding the ash cloud is still very uncertain. [more - LFV]
- NATS: Current restrictions across UK controlled airspace due to the volcanic ash cloud will remain in place until at least 1900 on 19-Apr-2010. Some limited opportunities in Shetland for flights, subject to individual co-ordination with ATC. [more - NATS][more - UK CAA]
- Naviair: Danish Airspace closed until at least 1400 on 19-Apr-2010. [more - Naviair]
- Oro Navigacija: Lithuanian airspace closed from 16-Apr-2010. No timeframe given for potential re-opening. [more - Oro Navigacija]
- Slovenian control: Airspace fully opened from 18-Apr-2010 (from 20.10) until 0600 19-Apr-2010 [more - Slovenian Control]
- Skyways: Airspace in southern Sweden is still closed. Airspace in northern sections of Sweden and parts of Norway was opened over 18-Apr-2010. [more - Skyways]
- Adria Airways: Charter services planned for the weekend will be operated between 18-Apr-2010 and 19-Apr-2010. Nine services were cancelled on 19-Apr-2010; [more]
- Aeroflot: Added capacity to Rome Airport on 28-Apr-2010 to take passenger from Europe and to bring Europe transit passengers from Southeast Asia. Services to Milan and Venice will also be redirected to Rome. The carrier is also operating to Moscow; [more]
- Afriqiyah Airways: All services from Africa and Tripoli on 19-Apr-2010 have been cancelled, except service to Rome Fiumicino; [more]
- Air Algerie: Revenue loss of approximately USD13 million by 18-Apr-2010, due to 85 flight cancellations;
- Air Berlin: Offered to carry out test flights and demands crisis management centre to be set up by the German Federal Ministry of Transport. The carrier stated it has been able to carry out positioning flights within Germany under visual flight conditions and at the currently permitted altitude of 3,000 m. It has been possible to transfer two Airbus aircraft from Munich to Düsseldorf without any problems, and a further Airbus was moved from Nuremberg to Hamburg. The technical inspection of the aircraft after landing did not reveal any adverse effects. CEO, Joachim Hunold, expressed his incomprehension of the course of action taken by the authorities, commenting, “we are amazed that the results obtained from test flights carried out by Lufthansa and Air Berlin on Saturday did not have any influence whatsoever on the decisions taken by the aviation safety authorities. We are still offering – as is Lufthansa – to carry out further test flights so as to obtain valid insights. There should also be a crisis management centre at the Federal Ministry of Transport during a period when the entire German airspace is shut off"; [more]
- Air Canada: Cancelled services to/from London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Geneva, Rome and Tel Aviv. Freight currently on hand will be re-accommodated by Air Canada Cargo on the next available flight once service resumes; [more]
- Air China: A minimum of 1,000 Air China passengers are being affected daily, with services from Beijing and Shanghai to Frankfurt, London, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Moscow, Munich, Madrid and Milan being affected;
- Air India: Suspended all Westbound services to and from Europe, USA and Canada, covering nine services, on 18-Apr-2010; [more]
- Air New Zealand: The carrier, on 18-Apr-2010, did not operate Auckland-Hong Kong-London service, adding that it terminated services to London via Los Angeles at Los Angeles. The carrier has advised passengers travelling to Europe and the UK to not commence travel, adding that it passenger decide to travel and there are disruptions, costs incurred will be at their expense. The carrier added that it has been informed there is no available accommodation in stop over points like Los Angeles or Hong Kong; [more]Brussels Airlines: Cancelled all services on 19-Apr-2010; [more]
- ATA: Of 337 average daily nonstop scheduled flights by US carriers between the US and Europe on 18-Apr-2010, 310 originating and returning flights were cancelled. On 17-Apr-2010, 282 of the 337 daily service were cancelled, while on 16-Apr-2010, approximately 280 of the 337 services (both directions) were cancelled. On 15-Apr-2010, approximately 165 of the 337 daily services were cancelled; [more]
- British Airways: A B747 conducted a 2 hour 46 minute flight yesterday, departing Heathrow and climbing to 40,000 ft to Cardiff. The carrier stated conditions were "perfect" and the aircraft encountered no difficulties. It will now undergo a full technical analysis at British Airways' engineering base at Cardiff. CEO, Willie Walsh, was onboard the aircraft; [more]
- Brussels Airlines: Stated it expects air travel disruptions to cost several hundreds of thousands of Euros, due to the cost of rebookings, refunds and providing hotel and other services for stranded transit passengers. The carrier is offering meals and drinks for passengers and has had to pay for "several hundred" hotel rooms. It also has airline personnel stranded abroad, planes stranded abroad, staff overtime payments and perishable goods to pay for;
- Bulgaria Air: Cancelled four services on 19-Apr-2010 to Paris, Amsterdam, London and Brussels; [more]
- Carpatair: Intends to operate 90% of services scheduled for 19-Apr-2010, with the carrier planning to Carpatair is preparing to operate to/from Romania, Moldavia, Greece, Ukraine, Italy – Ancona, Bari, Florence, Milan, Rome, Venice and Verona. Services to Germany will, however, remain cancelled; [more]
- Cathay Pacific: Cancelling all services to London, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt and Milan;
- China Airlines: Will waive cancellation and reschedule fees for confirmed tickets to/from Europe by 30-Apr-2010; [more]
- Egyptair: Cancelled all services to Europe and decided to use larger aircraft types to operate to the open airports in order to meet the increasing demand on these airports; [more]
- Emirates: Stated the ongoing volcanic ash disruption has already cost Emirates USD50 million (as of 18-Apr-2010), or USD10 million per day, with the carrier losing revenue from 18,000 passengers a day . Around 30 Emirates aircraft are grounded - equivalent to one fifth of the fleet. To date, over 80,000 passengers have been impacted by the ongoing disruption. CEO, Tim Clark, commented, that the "scale of this crisis is unlike anything I have experienced in my career. The longer it continues, the more complex the recovery process becomes". He continued, "these are losses which are coming straight out of our own pocket. But despite this not being a crisis of our own making, we are doing everything possible to minimise the impact on our customers. The carrier is currently not accepting passengers for travel to any European destinations excluding Moscow, Athens, Larnaca, Malta and Istanbul until the 20-Apr-2010. The carrier stated it would continue to provide hotel accommodation for all passengers who were in transit in Dubai when the disruption began and is providing accommodation and three meals per day for approximately 6,000 passengers who were in transit when the disruption began at a cost of more than USD1 million per day; [more]
- Etihad Airways: Cancelled all flights to the UK, Ireland, Europe and the Russian Federation; [more]
- FedEx Express: Is not accepting deferred international freight shipments bound for Europe. This embargo does not affect freight shipments to/from other countries and applies only to Europe. FedEx Express is trucking shipments within Europe; [more]
- Germanwings: Stated all services on 19-Apr-2010 have been cancelled, with airports in Dortmund, Dresden, Hanover, Cologne/Bonn, Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Leipzig being shut down, as per directives issued by ministries and air traffic control; [more]
- Gulf Air: Cancelled 232 flights to Europe since 15-Apr-2010;
- Iberia: Expects to operate domestic services as normal from 19-Apr-2010, although flight operations on European routes will be restricted until the airports affected are reopened. The carrier has hired 70 buses to carry transit passengers to select destinations and has scheduled additional services to Roma and Barcelona. The airline stated it has rerouted approximately 4,000 passengers in different means of transport and has accomodated more than 5,000 customers in hotels in Madrid; [more]
- India: India's Civil Aviation Administrated stated Air India cancelled all the eight flights to UK, Europe and North America for 17-Apr-2010, with Jet Airways cancelling services to the UK and North America via Brussels and Kingfisher Airlines cancelling two services to the UK. Due to cancellation and rescheduling of flights, parking bays at Mumbai and Delhi Airports are occupied as by British Airways, Air France, Air India and Air Atlis (New Delhi) and Air India, Jet Airways, British Airways, Air France, Delta and Kingfisher (Mumbai). Out of the 11 bays occupied by different aircraft at Mumbai, two are parked on taxiway E1; [more]
- Israeli Civil Aviation Authority: Stated more than 200 flights have been cancelled between Israel and Europe;
- Jade Cargo: The carrier has cancelled 12 services, and, on 18-Apr-2010, added that the "prognosis for normal resumption of air services within the next 24 hours is not positive"; [more]
Japan Airlines: Cancelled ten services between Asia and Europe for today (19-Apr-2010);
- KLM: Successfully operated ten test flights over the weekend of 17/18-Apr-2010. The purpose of the flights was to assess whether the quality of the atmosphere allowed safe air traffic. All of the aircraft have now undergone a technical inspection, with the carrier conveying the results to the Dutch air transport authorities, Inspectie Verkeer en Waterstaat (IVW). KLM previously operated a test flight in Dutch airspace on 17-Apr-2010, with the results of subsequent technical inspections revealing that the flight had encountered "no problems whatsoever". Based on this information, the Dutch air transport authorities IVW, granted permission to operate further test flights on 18-Apr-2010. The first flight set off to Düsseldorf, with no passengers but 20 crew on board. The crew on board flew seven stranded aircraft from Düsseldorf to Schiphol during the course of the morning and early afternoon; [more]
- KLM: Operated two commercial services to the Far East on 18-Apr-2010. There were no passengers on board these flights, which both carried cargo and the regular crew complement. The flights bound for Sharjah and Bangkok/Taipei were respectively operated by a B747 full freighter and a B747 combi. The Dutch aviation authorities granted KLM permission to operate these flights. Earlier on 18-Apr-2010, KLM successfully operated nine test flights, with none of these flights encountering any problems, prompting KLM President & CEO, Peter Hartman, to claim, "it is completely safe to operate flights during hours of daylight"; [more]
- Lufthansa: Reportedly stated it is not specifically insured against the financial loss from cancelled flights due to volcanic ash;
- Luxair Luxembourg Airlines: No services will take off prior to 1200 on 19-Apr-2010; [more]
- Monarch: Stated it was forced to suspend service on 18-Apr-2010 (affecting approximately 34 services) and 19-Apr-2010 (affecting approximately 37 services). Approximately three services were suspended each on 15-Apr-2010, 16-Apr-2010 and 17-Apr-2010; [more]
- Oman Air: Cancelled all services to the UK, France, and Germany; [more]
- Qantas: Stated all services from Asia to Europe will be cancelled on 19-Apr-2010, 20-Apr-2010 and 21-Apr-2010, although the carrier will operate services between Australia and Asian destinations; [more - Press Release 1] [more - Press Release 2]
- Qatar Airways: At least 40 services cancelled on 16/17-Apr-2010. No further updates made;
- Pakistan International Airlines: Stated it expects to lose USD5.9 million in revenue and has cancelled 32 flights by 17-Apr-2010;
- Ryanair: Stated services from Spain, the Canary and Baleric islands, the South of Italy (including Pisa, Rome, Sardinia and Sicily), Malta and North Africa will continue to operate just domestic and southbound routes, until at least 1300 on 21-Apr-2010; [more]
- SAS Scandinavian Airlines: Stated all US-Scandinavia services will depart as scheduled on 18-Apr-2010, although services will be diverted from Copenhagen to Oslo. The carrier also warned between 2,500 and 3,500 Norwegian employees of potential temporary lay-offs. Final decision to be made on 19-Apr-2010. Employees may only receive a 48 hours notice of the unpaid leave, which could be implemented from 21-Apr-2010. Cancelled 742 services on 16-Apr-2010. All flights to/from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm remain cancelled; [more]
- Skyways: All services cancelled on 19-Apr-2010; [more]
- Thai Airways: Has been forced to cancel on average 22 outbound and inbound services between Thailand and Europe (the carrier operates to 13 destinations in Europe), with the carrier anticipating that 6,000 passenger are being stranded per day, with losses of approximately THB100 million (USD3.1 million) per day. The carrier also announced plans to increase services between Thailand and Europe via Rome and via Madrid to facilitate stranded passengers. The carrier stated four of its destinations are currently open for operations (Rome, Madrid, Moscow and Athens); [more]
- Thomson Airways: Cancelled all UK outbound flights on 18-Apr-2010 until 19-Apr-2010; [more]
- Vietnam Airlines: Will cancel four services to Europe on 18-Apr-2010 and two services on 19-Apr-2010; [more]
- TAROM: Cancelled 44 services on 18-Apr-2010 and 25 services on 19-Apr-2010; [more]
- Widerøe: Planning to operate most of our domestic flights today as the latest weather forecast is "positive". The carrier added that most flights have available seats. However, due to volcanic ashes in the air over Norway, air traffic may still face restrictions, with the carrier to operate "where permitted". [more]
Airport updates on the Ash Attack:
- Airports Company South Africa announced (18-Apr-2010) several flights bound for Europe remain grounded at Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport. [more]
- Austrian airports are expected to be reopened on 0400 19-Apr-2010;
- Bulgarian Air Traffic Control allowed Sofia and Plodviv airports to reopen on 1100 19-Apr-2010. All other airports remain closed;
- Cyprus’ Larnaka and Paphos airports cancelled 31 flights to European destinations from 0000 to 1500 17-Apr-2010;
- Czech Republic's Prague Airport announced (17-Apr-2010) operations were temporarily suspended on 16-Apr-2010 and will not resume before 1200 19-Apr-2010; [more]
- Denmark airports to remain closed until 1200 19-Apr-2010;
- Estonian airports to remain closed until 1200 19-Apr-2010;
- French Government plans to keep the majority of French airports, including all Paris airports, closed until 0600 20-Apr-2010. All airspace north of an axis between Nice and Bordeaux will remain closed until this time. All airports south of this axis, including Biarritz, Marseille, Montpellier and Toulouse, will remain open until at least 1300 19-Apr-2010;
- Germany’s DFS has allowed temporary permission for the opening of Berlin Tegel and Berlin Schoenefeld airports until 2200 18-Apr-2010. Frankfurt, Erfurt, Leipzig and Hanover airports were also temporarily reopened for limited operations on 18-Apr-2010;
- Greece’s Athens International Airport stated it had cancelled 159 flights so far on 18-Apr-2010, but otherwise continues to operate as normal;
- Hungary's Budapest Airport announced (18-Apr-2010) it will remain closed until 1200 19-Apr-2010, due to the closure of Hungarian airspace by the National Transport Authority’s Civil Aviation Directorate; [more]
- Italy’s ENAC stated it would reopen the country’s northern airspace from 0500 19-Apr-2010. Rome Airport is reportedly open;
- Latvian airports to remain closed until 0600 19-Apr-10;
- Lithuania’s Vilnius Airport stated Lithuanian airspace is now open;
- Luxembourg Airport plans to remain closed until at least 1600 18-Apr-2010;
- Netherlands airports to remain closed until at least 0600 18-Apr-2010;
- Poland reopened six airports, including Warsaw;
- Portuguese airports cancelled at least 185 flights on 17-Apr-2010. Lisbon Portela Airport cancelled the most flights, with 77 cancellations. Algarve Faro Airport cancelled 69 flights;
- Romania airports to remain closed until at least 0900 19-Apr-2010;
- Russian airports have been reopened. The country’s Federal Air Transport Agency stated almost 500 flights at Russian airports have been delayed or cancelled over the weekend. Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport reported the majority of cancelled flights (286 flights). Kaliningrad Khrabrovo Airport reopened on 17-Apr-2010, after closing on 16-Apr-2010;
- Slovakia airports remain closed;
- Slovenian airports were reopened 1800 18-Apr-2010 and will remain open until at least 0400 19-Apr-2010. Slovenian Government plans to close the country’s airspace again at approximately 0600 19-Apr-2010;
- South Korea’s Incheon International Airport stated 41 of 54 scheduled flights to Europe were cancelled on 17-Apr-2010;
- Spain’s AENA reopened all of its airports in the afternoon on 18-Apr-2010, following the closure of 17 airports on 17-Apr-2010 and 18-Apr-2010, including Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca airports. Spanish Transport Ministry stated it is making some Spanish airports available as temporary intercontinental facilities, allowing passengers to then connect to the rest of Europe through road or rail transport;
- Switzerland’s Zurich Airport remains closed;
- Turkish airports are all open. Istanbul Ataturk Airport stated it has cancelled over 110 international flights since 16-Apr-2010;
- UK's Birmingham Airport announced (18-Apr-2010) there will be no flights in or out of the airport until at least 1900 19-Apr-2010; [more]
- Ukraine’s Kiev Borispol Airport was reopened on 0720 18-Apr-2010 after closing on 17-Apr-2010.
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