Volcanic ash could have cost European airlines and airports £2.2bn

Volcanic ash could have cost European airlines and airports up to £2.2bn, the European Commission (EC) has warned.

The ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland led to the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights over the past two weeks, and prevented more than 10 million passengers from being able to travel.

Siim Kallas, Europe’s transport commissioner, said the EC was inclined to allow carriers affected by the volcano to claim state aid to help cover their losses, the Financial Times has reported.

The EC’s damage assessment following the eruption covered airlines, airports and tour operators, but the figure could increase if claims for compensation are made by hotels, retailers and other sectors affected by the incident.

Last week, the absence management firm FirstCare warned the disruption could cost UK businesses more than £3m a day as workers were trapped abroad.

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