The Icelandic airlines, as other airlines affected by the ash-induced flight ban, have suffered significant losses in revenue because of the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull.
Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Managing director of Icelandair Birkir Hólm Gudnason told Morgunbladid that the eruption has cost the airline’s mother company, Icelandair Group, up to ISK 1 billion (USD 7.7 million, EUR 6.2 million) since it began last month.
Bookings have also plummeted; they are only a quarter of what they have been at this time of year in the past years. The same goes for many other airlines in Europe.
The situation is also difficult for domestic airlines. “If the situation continues like this over the summer, the airlines involved in domestic flights will face serious trouble,” said Hördur Gudmundsson, managing director of Eagle Air.
Managing director of Air Iceland, Árni Gunnarsson, agrees. No-fly days cost the airline ISK seven to eight million (USD 54,000 to 62,000, EUR 43,000 to 50,000), he said, and there have been around ten such days in April and May.
According to ruv.is, the ash cloud from Eyjafjallajökull is currently heading to the northeast. The police in Hvolsvöllur, a town close to the eruption site, had not received any reports of ash fall in inhabited areas this morning.
Keflavík International Airport is open and international flights to and from Iceland are on schedule. Most domestic airports are open as well and flights are on schedule to all destinations apart from Egilsstadir in the east and the Westman Islands in the south.
The ash is preventing flights to Egilsstadir but in the Westman Islands foggy conditions, which don’t have anything to do with the eruption, are the cause of the hold-up.
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