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Iceland Volcano: World Without Planes

  • April 18th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

qantas-tails.jpgThe weekend shut-down of flights in and out of Europe has given a nasty taste of a world without planes.

The cancellation of all flights using the major airports, in Northern and Central Europe  — 17 000 flights on Saturday (17.4.10) – was set to continue at least into Monday.

iceland-volcano2.jpgDespite some hope held by scientists that the flow of ash from a volcano in Iceland, causing the problem, might be abating; there were fears of a fresh eruption, and the volcanic cloud extending over Northern Europe continued to move very slowly. (See also EUAustralia, Iceland volcano cuts flights …, 16.4.10).

Airlines not flying, for concern about the powdery ash fouling and shutting-down aircraft engines, have begun losing $US200-million a day (IATA), (A$216.5-million,, 17.4.10).

Other economic impacts, from the carrying of high-level persons to freighting of urgently needed, high-tech goods, or foodstuffs, begin to kick in from now.

All flights between Australia and Europe were stopped from Saturday, some 10000 intending flyers joining millions now stranded at home waiting for a chance to travel, in airport terminals or crowded hotel lobbies around the world.

Already an historical milestone, the crisis is no respecter of persons; several government leaders have been caught off-base, and dignitaries bound for the funeral of  Lech Kaczynski, the late Polish President, might just have to email condolences this time. (A national memorial service for Mr Kaczynski, and 95 who died with him, took place, on  Saturday, in Warsaw). (See EUAustralia, Polish President ‘s death in air crash, 10.4.10).

Tiny Iceland, out on the margins, suddenly shut out of the world economy as the Global Financial Crisis tightened its grip, has exacted an unanticipated and devastating revenge. (See also, EUAustralia, Iceland vote: we can’s pay, 8.3.10).