Today I was interviewed on Kojo Nnamdi’s radio show about the financial effect on the airlines of the ash-related flight cancellations (if you live in Washington, DC you might know that Kojo is a bit of a local institution, and has an hour-long news show on WAMU, a local NPR station). Here is the link to the interview, apologies in advance for my lack of radio skills (click on the “listen” button).
One thing Kojo (and a call-in listener) were very interested in was the issue of airlines seeking compensation for cancellations, since they were caused by a government-mandated airspace closure. I responded that while European carriers are pressing for this, I don’t think the U.S. carriers will – their line has always been “we’re not looking for handouts, we just want some relief on taxes and fees.”
However, since then I’ve talked to a few more people and changed my mind a little on this issue. If the European carriers do get some kind of compensation from the EU, I think there is a good chance their U.S. counterparts will also make a claim, either to their own government or the EU. Their losses will be nowhere near as large as those of the European airlines, but they could argue the same principle should apply. In any case, there’s no harm in trying, right?