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'Ash Attack': Airline responses to ash cloud crisis

19-Apr-2010 8:31 AM

Airline updates:

  • 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 (KUNA, 18-Apr-2010);
  • 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 (CCTV, 18-Apr-2010);
  • 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 (Dow Jones, 16-Apr-2010). 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, ItalyAncona, 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 (Bloomberg, 19-Apr-2010);
  • 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 (Emirates Business 24/7, 18-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 (Israel News, 18-Apr-2010);
  • 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) (Bloomberg, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Kenya Airways: Services to/from Europe (Amsterdam, London and Paris) have been cancelled. The carrier is reportedly losing USD999,000 per day from the cancellations (Daily Nation, 18-Apr-2010).   ; [more]
  • 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 (The Local, 16-Apr-2010);
  • 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 (Emirates Business 24/7, 18-Apr-2010);
  • Pakistan International Airlines: Stated it expects to lose USD5.9 million in revenue and has cancelled 32 flights by 17-Apr-2010 (Dawn.com, 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 (AFP/Bloomberg, 18-Apr-2010). 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]