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Icelandic volcano led to drop in global passenger demand

May 28, 2010, 05:30 pm

The International Air Transport Association reported recently that global air traffic dropped 2.4 percent in April.

Much of the drop can be accounted for by cancellations associated with an Icelandic volcano that errupted during the month. This was combined with recessionary effects to further hit the industry on a worldwide basis.

"Last month, we were within 1 percent of pre-crisis traffic levels in 2008," Giovanni Bisignani, director general and CEO for the IATA, said. "In April, that was pushed back to 7 percent."

As may be expected, European-based carriers felt the brunt of the volcano's effects and saw an 11.7 percent drop in demand. However, North American airlines also faced cancellations associated with ash from the volcano, which contributed to a 1.9 percent decline seen in April.

The Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted on April 14 and spewed ash across a large area near and over Europe. This led to many countries enacting flight bans, stranding passengers through fligh cancellations. The bans were tied to safety concerns, as the ash cloud could have led to aircraft engine disruptions.ADNFCR-3158-ID-19807974-ADNFCR

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