Europe Regions Airline Association (ERA) Director General Mike Ambrose stated (15-Jun-2011) that "the way in which the European political institution has treated agriculture [with regards to the recent E. Coli incident] compared to air transport, appears to defy logic and consistency." The EU Ministers of Agriculture have offered EUR210 million in direct compensation to assist the EU's agricultural industry. During the Apr-2011 ash cloud crisis, ERA airlines alone faced unanticipated additional costs in excess of EUR250 million, ERA claims, most of which was incurred a result of the unlimited liability for passenger care and assistance, which airlines were legally obliged to fund. [more]
ERA: "E. Coli and volcanic eruptions are both natural phenomena, yet the difference in the way in which each impacts a particular industry and is handled by European legislators, is striking, and perhaps indicative of a mindset that has now become entrenched in European policy ... if compensation for a consumer response to uncertainty over the health attributes of a salad vegetable can precipitate such an expeditious response from the EU, why do the EU and the European Commission continue to deny compensation to the EU’s airlines for the devastating additional costs associated with volcanic eruptions, particularly when they are exacerbated by inappropriate legislation?” Company statement. Source: ERA, 15-Jun-2011.