Lufthansa says Icelandic volcano cost it 200 million euros

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Lufthansa, Europe's biggest airline, said Thursday it suffered 200 million euros (265 million dollars) in losses owing to a volcanic ash cloud from Iceland that grounded planes across the continent.

An airline spokeswoman told AFP the estimate was made by Lufthansa chairman Wolfgang Mayrhuber in response to a question during the carrier's general assembly of shareholders in Berlin.

On Wednesday, a preliminary estimate by the European Commission put losses to the European tourism sector at possibly one billion euros.

Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano erupted on April 14, spewing an ash cloud across much of northern and western Europe and triggering the biggest disruption to aviation since World War II.

Eurocontrol, the continent's air traffic control coordinator, has said more than 100,000 flights to, from and within Europe were cancelled between April 15 and 21, preventing an estimated 10 million passengers from travelling.

© 2010 AFP

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