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Recent Flight European Cancellations Creating Significant Economic Implications

  • Jennifer Glasse

The closure of airspace over Britain, Northern Europe and Scandinavia is having economic repercussions around the world. It has halted the transport of goods, stranded hundreds of thousands of passengers and dealt a severe economic blow to the airline industry.

Nearly 100,000 flights were canceled or delayed as volcanic ash forced the closure of European airspace. The International Air Transport Association says the crisis has cost airlines more than $1.7 billion and is devastating an already beleaguered industry.

British Airways Chief Executive Willie Walsh says his company lost between $20 million and $30 million a day.

"My personal belief is that we could have safely continued operation for a period of time," said Walsh. "I think there were occasions when the decision to close airspace could have been justified."

Walsh says canceling everything was unnecessary and that after the unprecedented delays and cancelations there will still be complications with air travel.

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