Iceland volcano has cost France 200 mln euros

20th April 2010, Comments 0 comments

Disruption to air travel caused by ash from the erupting Icelandic volcano has already cost French companies 200 million euros (270 million dollars), the government said Tuesday.

"Each day that passes adds another dozen million euros to the bill," said Herve Novelli, a junior minister charged with tourism, adding that French airlines alone had lost 150 million euros.

To that must be added the cost to tour operators and travel agents.

Novelli was speaking after holding talks with industry leaders to discuss measures to help suffering firms, although he warned the European Commission would have to approve any direct state aid to airlines.

France's airports have begun to reopen, and long-haul services from Paris Charles De Gaulle airport are almost back to normal, but European flights remain disrupted and 85,000 French citizens are stuck abroad.

© 2010 AFP

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