KLM chief: airspace shutdown was 'overreaction'

17th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

The “radical intervention” to shut down large parts of the Netherlands’ airspace on Monday was “unjustified”, according to KLM chief Peter Hartman. The CEO of the Dutch airline described the move as an overreaction.

Speaking at an event to celebrate the first ten years of the Dutch Aviation Group, Mr Hartman said he would like to see airlines regaining their responsibility for airspace safety decisions. “Officially the airlines make their own decisions, based on information from the authorities and meteorological services, where and when to fly,” he says.

Mr Hartman says decisions on the Icelandic ash cloud should be taken on the basis of concentration measurements, pointing out that “The aircraft that landed from the different continents this morning had nothing in their engines.”

The KLM chief protested that his and other airlines had lost millions of euros on Monday. “People don’t understand this any more,” he said, adding “At least it’s a step forward that not everything was shut down like the last time.”

Around 500 flights to and from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport were cancelled as a result of the ash cloud caused by a fresh eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. Over 60,000 travellers were affected.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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