Bermuda’s Premier Dr Ewart Brown is amongst the thousands of passengers stranded due to volcanic ash grounding flights. Saying that “safety comes first“, Dr. Brown said “Of course we are all inconvenienced but so are hundreds of thousands of passengers throughout the world“.
Flight-less in London alongside the Premier are almost twenty delegates from the Bermuda Department of Tourism, Bermuda Hotel Association and representatives from 11 of the Island’s hotels. The group was taking part in a UK tour to promote Bermuda as a tourist destination to British travelers.
Saying the group will fly when the authorities give the green light, the Premier assures that “until then, we keep working without regard to geography.”
The Premier is in good company; Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is also stranded due to the volcanic ash, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plane was unable to land, and many world leaders including President Obama were unable to travel to the funeral of the Polish president.
Numerous other local residents have been stranded or unable to get off the island, as British Airways inbound and outbound flights to Bermuda have been cancelled for today [Apr 17] and the last two days.
In what experts have termed the “largest disruption to aviation since WWII”, thousands of flights have been cancelled since Wed, April 14 due to ash spewing into the atmosphere from a glacier volcano erupting in Iceland.
According to the European air traffic authority Eurocontrol, about 60% of European flights were not operating. Other reports have the amount of cancelled flights at over 20,000. Nations affected include the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Germany, France and Poland.
The International Air Transport Association estimated that airlines are losing approximately $200 million a day due to the closure of airports all over northern Europe. The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation said at least six million passengers could be affected, costing airlines up to $1 billion on a final tally.
The cancellations were reflected in stock markets, where the prices of European flagship airlines fell. The reinsurance sector, many of whom are Bermuda based, are not expected to receive large claims due to the eruption.
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- British Airways: Flights Cancelled for 4th Day | Bernews.com | April 17, 2010
- BA: Bermuda Flights Cancelled for Day #5 | Bernews.com | April 18, 2010