BALPA says that the industry will need a government rescue on a scale of the bank rescue of late 2008 because of the ash problem.
April 19: British commercial pilots’ union BALPA says that the industry will need a government rescue on a scale of the bank rescue of late 2008 with a number of airlines “staring bankruptcy in the face”. It says the EU also needs to act as its delayed passenger compensation scheme was “never designed with this situation in mind and is now crippling our industry”. BALPA General Secretary Jim McAuslan said “The financial fall out from this could not be more serious – the experience we had when XL went under was only a taster of what we now face
“This issue is in danger of getting out of hand. We call on the Government to urgently bring together the key players from across the industry to ensure the risk assessment that has lead to the continuing closure of airspace is robust, that there are a range of rescue packages in place to repatriate the travelling public and that there is targeted financial help to nurse the industry through this crisis.”
Tim Jeans, managing director of Monarch, told the BBC that “Clearly you cannot sell a ticket for somebody from Alicante to London for £60 and pick up a £2,000 bill. No business could stand that and the UK airline industry is no different.”
Budget airline Ryanair has cancelled all scheduled flights to and from the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, France, Germany, Poland and the Baltic States until 1300hrs on Wednesday April 21. Flights from Spain, the Canary and Baleric islands, the south of Italy (including Pisa, Rome, Sardinia and Sicily), Malta and North Africa will continue to operate just domestic and southbound routes. Rival easyJet says all flights in the affected areas of the UK and Northern Europe are cancelled until 01:00hrs GMT Tuesday April 20 but a limited number of flights are expected to operate in Southern Europe.