Airline shares took a beating on Monday at the possible threat to flights from the eruption of Iceland’s most active volcano, despite optimism in the industry.
Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of budget airline Ryanair, who was highly critical of the authorities’ response last year, said he did not think widescale airspread shutdowns would be repeated, adding the ash this time was “heavier and falling more quickly”.
Ryanair’s share lost over six percent, but that was more connected to its business forecast for the coming year.
One of the worst affected companies was International Airline Group, the owner of British Airways and Iberia, qwhich closed down five percent on Monday.
Another low-cost, easyJet lost 4.8 percent, Air France-KLM was down 4.5 percent and Lufthansa 3.5 percent.
In a sign of an improvement in the situation, Iceland’s aviation authority said it was reopening the island’s main airport on Monday evening.