BAA: April passenger numbers down due to volcanic ash cloud

| May 10, 2010 | 0 Comments

BAA has today reported a fall in passenger numbers at its six British airports, after the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud forced UK airspace to close.

The volcano, located under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier about 100 miles east of the capital Reykjavik, erupted in the early hours of 14 April.

The massive cloud of ash is a threat to safety since it has the ability to damage jet engines as the ash is sucked into the intakes and compacted by the operation of the machines and thereby causing a failure.

As a result, thousands of flights were cancelled last month for safety reasons and it is set to have a devastating affect on the airline industry.

BAA, which is majority owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, said passenger traffic fell 22.7% year-on-year in April after flights were cancelled for almost a week last month due to the ash cloud.

The company said 6.9 million passengers flew from its UK airports last month compared to 9 million in April last year.

The ash cloud has caused disruption to flights in Europe over the weekend with airports in Portugal, France and Austria forced to ground some flights, while some airports in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland had restrictions placed on them.

Worryingly, the Met Office has warned that the ash may return to UK airspace in the next few days, causing further travel chaos and misery for passengers.

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