Air France puts volcano cost at 35 million euros a day

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Air France-KLM said on Monday that the disruption to services caused by a vast cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland was costing it 35 million euros (47 million dollars) per day.

The figure was given by the director general of the company, Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, as the price of shares in leading European airlines showed falls of three to four percent.

"The European air transport industry is losing 150 million euros per day. Air France-KLM represents one quarter, or 35 million euros, of daily losses," he told reporters at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport.

Separately, British Airways said lost revenue and one-off charges linked to the volcanic ash cloud was costing the group 15-20 million pounds (17-23 million euros, 23-30 million dollars) a day.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged governments to reopen routes through the ash cloud over Europe on Monday, and said companies were losing 200 million euros (270 million dollars) per day.

European air traffic officials have designated much of the continent a virtual no-fly zone for a fifth straight day after ash from a volcano in Iceland drifted south and east.

© 2010 AFP

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