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Ash cloud travel ban cost Etihad $30 million
Airline boss James Hogan says Iceland volcano crisis was more damaging to the airline industry than 9/11 or the tsunami.
April 24, 2010 1:50 by Ben Flanagan
Etihad Airways lost $30 million because of the ban on flights to Europe caused by the volcanic ash clouds, according to the airline’s CEO James Hogan.
Hogan also said in an interview with the UAE’s state-run news agency WAM that the volcanic ash crisis had a far damaging impact on the aviation industry than that of the 9/11 or the tsunami.
However, the airline is able to recover from the crisis, and its full schedule of flights will resume by 28 April.
Hogan told WAM that Etihad Airways had formed a 200-member crisis management team to deal with the aftermath of the ash clouds, focusing mainly on the passengers stranded in the different airports, including over 2,500 passengers in Abu Dhabi airport.
“The stranded passengers were given accommodation in 16 Abu Dhabi hotels. Abu Dhabi Airports Company, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, the airport police and immigration authorities did a great job in offering all forms of assistance to the passengers. When the travel ban was lifted, they did their best to ferry the passengers to their respective destinations without further delays,” he said.
Hogan revealed that Eihad was in contacts with the British and European airports to run additional flights in order to carry UAE passengers stranded there.