Air travel across Europe may have resumed but the economic impact of the six day ban on all flights will be felt for sometime.
For the airline industry which was already suffering from the global recession, the losses incurred have been described as, “devastating and unsustainable”.
American Airlines Vice President, Art Torno made a grim prediction: “It won’t be possible to recover those losses. I think IATA has quoted to the effect of $1.7 billion in lost revenue.”
The financial fallout has hit many parts of the airline supply chain.
Passengers need to be fed while flying – no passengers means no meals bought which means no income for catering firms.
Andreas Bergmann, Director of the catering company Servair said: “ We lost more than six million euros, the last couple of days. Luckily we are on a sound financial footing. Servair can cope with it but it was devastating, as it was difficult for any of the players in the market.”
Travel companies, hotels, restaurants, they have all been affected. In Spain alone its tourist sector is estimated to have lost 252 million euros in less than a week.