20-Apr-2010 10:48 AM

Airport responses on 19-Apr-2010

Airport updates:

  • Albania Government reopened the country’s airports on 18-Apr-2010 (BalkanInsight.com, 19-Apr-2010). On 19-Apr-2010, Tirana Mother Theresa International Airport was operating only services to Athens, Istanbul, Rome and Bari;
  • Austrian airports to be reopened at 03:00 19-Apr-2010 (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Belgian airports to remain closed until 06:00 21-Apr-2010 (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina reopened Sarajevo International Airport on the morning of 19-Apr-2010 (BalkanInsight.com, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Bulgaria’s Plodviv and Burgas airports reopened at 10:00 19-Apr-2010, while Sofia Airport remained open (novinite.com, 19-Apr-2010). Plodviv and Burgas airports were initially reopened for six hours, but this may be extended. Varna Airport was also opened on 11:00 19-Apr-2010. Bulgaria Transport Minister, Kamen Kichev, stated losses for Sofia Airport are expected to reach more than EUR250,000. 142 flights from the airport have been cancelled so far;
  • Canada’s St John's Newfoundland International Airport stated it has cancelled "numerous" flights from the airport (CBS News, 19-Apr-2010). Transport Canada stated they are closely monitoring the effects of the ash attack on Canadian airspace;
  • Croatia reopened all airports with the exception of Osijek Airport, on 1500 18-Apr-2010 (BalkanInsight.com, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Czech Republic's Prague-Ruzyne Airport announced (19-Apr-2010) the Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic has enabled a temporary opening of Czech airspace on the condition it is an airline's decision to use this option.This provision will take effect on 1200 19-Apr-2010 for a period of 48 hours, until 21-Apr-2010; [more]
  • Denmark's Copenhagen Airport announced (19-Apr-2010) the airport will remain closed for operations until at least 1400 20-Apr-2010; Denmark airspace is open for all flights above 10,800m (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010). [more]
  • Dubai International Airport announced it would waive airport fees for airlines with stranded aircraft at the airport (Emirates Business 24/7, 20-Apr-2010). Dubai Airports will reportedly be forgoing up to USD272,249 in revenue as a result. There are 13 stranded aircraft parked at the airport. A total of 305 flights have been cancelled at the airport since 15-Apr-2010;
  • Estonia airports are to be reopened from 0000 to 0600 20-Apr-2010 (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Finland’s Finavia temporarily reopened Helsinki-Vantaa and Tampere-Pirkkala airports until 2200 19-Apr-2010, while Turku Airport remained open until 1700 (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010). The airports will now be closed until at least 1500 20-Apr-2010;
  • French Prime Minister, Francois Fillon, confirmed the government plans to partially reopen some airports from 0600 20-Apr-2010 (KUNA, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Germany's Fraport AG implemented (19-Apr-2010) a comprehensive special assistance programme to cater to the needs of approximately passengers stranded in the airport's transit area. With the closure of airspace and the resulting shutdown of traffic, Fraport is taking the opportunity to carry out maintenance. Fraport can now intensify maintenance that is usually only done during the night or is otherwise difficult to organise during busy operations. Examples include FRA's baggage conveyor system – with approximately 73 km of guide ways – and automotive passenger steps for aircraft boarding; [more]
  • Italy airports to reopen on 0600 20-Apr-2010 (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Japan's Osaka Kansai International Airport Co Ltd (KIAC) announced (19-Apr-2010) it has established a special headquarters to cope with the crisis and have already provided emergency aid for stranded passengers; [more] Tokyo local governments dispatched services including medical staff and the supply of food and beverages for passengers stranded at Tokyo Narita Airport (Japan Today, 20-Apr-2010). Approximately 100 flights from the airport have been cancelled since 15-Apr-2010;
  • Kenya Airports Authority announced (19-Apr-2010) operations at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Moi International Airport due to the closure of the majority of European airports. [more]
  • Latvia airports closed until 1800 20-Apr-2010 (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Lithuania airports open (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Luxembourg airspace closed until 1800 20-Apr-2010 (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Montenegro airports open (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Namibia’s Windhoek Airport has approximately 30 stranded passengers, due to the cancellation of Air Namibia services to Europe (AllAfrica, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Netherlands Government reopened Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for passenger flights at 1800 19-Apr-2010 (Radio Netherlands English/Reuters, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Norway reopened most airports, allowing mainly domestic operations from Oslo Gardermoen Airport (Associated Press Stockholm, 19-Apr-2010);
  • PhilippinesManila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) expects losses from flight cancellations to reach USD26,881, due to a delay in the collection of terminal fees from stranded passengers and a reduction in sales by airport concessionaires (abs-cbnNEWS.com, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Romania’s Bucharest Otopeni and Bucharest Baneasa airports were reopened at 1500 19-Apr-2010 (BSANNA News, 19-Apr-2010). Craiova, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Oradea, Satu Mare and Baia Mare airports were also reopened. Targu Mures, Bacau, Iasi, Constanta and Tulcea airports are expected to be reopened at 0700 20-Apr-2010;
  • Russian Federal Air Transportation Agency stated the country’s three main airports cancelled 345 flights and delayed 73 on 19-Apr-2010 (Moscow Times, 19-Apr-2010). All Russian airports are open (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Serbia reopened its airspace on 19-Apr-2010 (BalkanInsight.com, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Singapore Changi Airport cancelled 17 flights on 19-Apr-2010 due to the closure of airports in Europe (channelnewsasia.com/Xinhua, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Slovakia eastern airports and airspace above 7,500m open (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010). Bratislava Airport closed;
  • Slovenia may close its airspace again as another cloud of ash is expected to reach its airspace at approximately 1200 19-Apr-2010 (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Spain airports were forced to cancel approximately 1,300 flights on 19-Apr-2010, despite all Spanish airports now being open (Xinhua, 19-Apr-2010). Spanish Government has offered UK and other European countries to use its airports as transit stops for stranded passengers (Associated Press, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Switzerland's Zurich Airport announced (19-Apr-2010) operations are due to resume at 0800 20-Apr-2010. All Switzerland airports to be closed until at least 0600 20-Apr-2010 (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010); [more]
  • Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Airports of Thailand (AoT) stated passengers stranded at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport are being provided with food and beverage and rest areas but will not be provided with insurance coverage (The Nation, 20-Apr-2010). Approximately 100 passengers are stranded at the airport. Thai Government previously provided passengers with insurance coverage of USD10,000 against political unrest;
  • Turkey airports are open (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010);
  • UK's BAA expects the daily effect of airport closures on adjusted EBITDA and cash flow to reach almost GBP5 million (Reuters, 19-Apr-2010). However, BAA stated the closures will not affect airports’ ability to finance services.
    • Cardiff Airport stated it plans to meet with airlines and tourism industry chiefs to develop a plan for when flights resume (BBC News, 19-Apr-2010)
    • Newcastle and Birmingham airports confirmed (19-Apr-2010) they will remain closed until 0300 20-Apr-2010, at the earliest; [more - Newcastle Airport] [more - Birmingham Airport]
    • Southampton Airport expects closures to cost it over GBP50,000 per day (UK-Airport-News.info, 18-Apr-2010);
    • Ronaldsway Isle of Man Airport announced (19-Apr-2010) plans to resume operations at 0615 20-Apr-2010, subject to any further volcanic eruptions. For ease of dissemination and consistency to airlines and operators, the airport will continue visual flight operations from opening to 0659, before resuming normal operations at 0700; [more - Ronaldway Airport]
  • Ukraine Government reopened the country’s airports on the morning of 19-Apr-2010, including Kiev Boryspil Airport (Interfax Ukraine/Kyiv Post, 19-Apr-2010). However, approximately 80% of flights were still cancelled from Kiev Boryspil Airport due to closures at other airports. Only flights to Asia and Egypt were operating.

Retailer responses:

  • Aldeasa Director of National Operations, Pedro Castro, stated the ash attack has had a “strong impact” on its operations but it was too early to make a proper evaluation (DFNIonline, 19-Apr-2010);
  • Aelia also stated it has been affected by the issue but “there's not much to do except be patient”. The retail group called on relevant authorities to "take the right decisions to ensure as swift a return to normality as possible".

Skyscanner announced (19-Apr-2010) there has been a leap in flight searches to and from the European airports surrounding the periphery of the worst affected areas. A poll by the website also found 31% of travellers believe that UK airports should now be opened. [more]

Skyscanner: “Although the flight disruption is of course affecting those due to go on holiday, the fallout is worse for those holidaymakers and businesspeople still overseas. We believe there are at least 150,000 British travellers marooned abroad. Our figures indicate that the majority of those stranded are in the Canaries, the Costas and Portugal, although there will also be a lot of travellers stranded further afield in Thailand, Florida, Dubai and New York,” Gareth Williams, CEO. Source: Skyscanner, 19-Apr-2010.

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