There exist various levers for overcoming political, economic, social, personal or other kinds of crisises, but what we do when its all about the mother nature? Who the victims should blame on? Iceland, Brussels, the God?! I don’t think hating Iceland will help Lufthansa at this point. Eyjafjallajökull Volcano Eruption is costing European Airlines a fortune!
When the Fimmvoruhald volcano at Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull glacier erupted on Wednesday, it sent a massive cloud of ash 20,000 feet into the air. While Iceland was largely unaffected by the cloud, it has shut down air travel throughout Europe, grounding more than 17,000 flights on Friday alone.
Foreign Policy Photos.
The European airlines are flying only to 40 percent of their capacity, avoiding the ash cloud in the direction of South and Eastern Europe. The losses—estimated at around 100 million euros ($134 million)—per day have caused the stock prices of most European airlines to plummet. Lufthansa’s stock price fell 4 percent on Friday, as the company is losing about 30 million euros per day ($40 million) due to cancelled flights.
According to the British newspaper Telegraph, the ash cloud has caused estimated losses of 920 million pounds ($1.4 billion) to the U.K. economy, amounting with a rate of 230 million pounds ($350 million) per day.
Geologists do not know when the volcanic ash could will dissolve and enable the airlines to operate normally in Western Europe. However, they estimated that it is possible that the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull could go on for months, therefore causing more massive traffic disturbances.
"From what we’ve seen, it could erupt, pause for a few weeks, and then possibly erupt again. It could go on for months," said Sigrun Hreinsdottir, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland told the Telegraph.
“There is no future outlook possible. We cannot say whether any new ash clouds will form over the Baltic Sea,” said German Travel minister, Peter Ramsauer.
While airlines are suffering the consequences of the ash cloud, the rail and bus companies are enjoying the benefits of it. According to German magazine SPIEGEL, the intercity bus lines are running on 500 percent of their normal capacity.
The car rental company Sixt has advertised itself on all the European airports with the following tagline, “Don’t fly in the air with so much ash! Rent our car cheaper at Sixt.