Tuesday, 20 April 2010 10:13
Ireland West Airport Knock is losing up to €20,000 a day because of the volcanic ash crisis, it has emerged.
This was revealed by airport managing director Joe Gilmore yesterday (Monday) as the worst crisis in European aviation history continues.
Since last week the airport has been virtually a 'ghost' facility.
The only flight operating has been the daily domestic Aer Arann service to and from Dublin.
However, airport management is optimistic that services will begin to return to normal by Friday when the wind changes direction from a northerly direction to a southwesterly one, bringing in rain belts from the Atlantic.
Knock normally has a throughput of several thousand passengers per day and this is significant in terms of revenue generation.
Every outgoing passenger must pay a €10 fee which goes towards the airport's development coffers.
Despite the immense setbacks of the past week, Mr. Gilmore remains optimistic.
"After the hard winter these are further disruptions which we could have done without," Mr. Gilmore stated.
"However, the throughput of passengers in March and April has generally been good and we are looking forward to a busy summer," he added.
Meanwhile, a party of 23 German students and three of their teachers are still stranded in Castlebar five days after volcanic ash grounded their return flight from Dublin to Frankfurt.
One of the group, teacher Franz Lehmann, has real reason to rue his unexpected and enforced stay in Ireland as he was to be best man at the wedding of his twin brother, Rafls, on Saturday but missed the ceremony.