Skies Re-open after Six Days of Shutdown

Flights Are Good To Go, But At What Cost?
Europe’s skies are officially open for business after six days of travel chaos due to the Icelandic volcano. Although 80% of all flights are good to go, passengers should still expect substantial delays as airlines try to cope with the cancellation backlog of over 95,000 flights. UK airspace was reopened on Tuesday night to allow long haul flights to arrive in Heathrow Airport, many passengers that had been stranded overseas spoke of their relief at finally being back on home soil.
The affects of the six day closure is said to have cost the travel industry around £1.1 billion and many are calling on the government to help fund this unforeseen chaos. International air transport group Iata has described the shutdown as “devastating” and demands that governments take responsibility and come up with ways for airlines to bring back lost revenue.
Airports around the worlds are putting on extra flights to help clear the backlog of stranded passengers, with long queues already developing at many of the world’s major airports. Many passengers have been able to find alternative transport during this difficult time with ferries and trains fast becoming fully booked in the scramble to get home. The British government did send help in the form of chartered coaches to bring back passengers arriving from long flights at Madrid airport, passengers were taken by coach to French ferry ports before making the journey home.
Now that flights are almost back to normal it seems that the real fall-out from the 6 day closure will start to unfold. Many European airlines have already criticised the extent of the flight bans with many stating that the airspace could have been opened earlier.

Author: Mary Stevens

Date: 22/04/2010

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