“My airline is more important than your safety”
I guess when airline companies are on the road to slow economic recovery that a natural event such as a volcano eruption might happen to disrupt even the best of plans … even if volcano eruptions have been occurring since geologic time, and Iceland is a known active volcano zone. I guess as well that companies are just itchy to fly especially after limited test-flights were carried out by BA, LH, and KL. I also guess that companies would prefer to go out and regain their customer base as soon as possible. I suppose that the various agencies which have kept European airspace closed have been “overcautious without the most up-to-date facts”, have been “relying too heavily upon statistical or model data”, and are simply “inconveniencing” stranded customers halfway around the world as well as families of tourists returning from vacation. I might also guess that the companies would like to “blame” these same agencies, and by “natural extension”, the E.U. for economic losses incurred; airline companies are now beginning to look for government help, though the word “demand” comes pretty close. I don’t suppose these various governments would help all companies around the world for their respective losses in productivity or their respective employees for their lost wages …
Should any plane develop trouble going between SFC and FLT 350, I suppose that the first fingers of blame would be pointed at the very same agencies monitoring European airspace. The accusations would fly: the airspace authorities were not sufficiently careful to warn airline companies of the inherent dangers of flying through ash, and these authorities were being careless to put airline-staff and their customers at risk.
Well, I guess if the companies are yelling the loudest, they must all be true, all of the time.
– HL, 2105h GMT, 19 April 2010.
PostScript 1 : 2145h GMT, 19 Apr 2010
See also this BBC article regarding British Airways flight 009 (24 June 1982) and how the Boeing 747 lost all four engines as the plane went into an ash cloud, and the Wikipedia article for more information about the flight. As always, your kilometrage may vary.
One Response to ““My airline is more important than your safety””
It’s hardly fair for the airlines to complain to government agencies for a somewhat predictable but hard to deal with occurrence, I think. I understand the companies are losing revenue by not flying, but how does this compare to what they’re gaining by not paying for fuel, overhead, landing fees, pilot and flight attendant salaries, etc? Is their fixed cost $200 M/day even when not flying just for airplane leases and interest and overhead for reservation handling? Yikes, if true. There is definitely hardship for travelers; but I went through this on 9/11 and no one ever offered me any compensation for my inconvenience when arguably it was airline and government airport security that failed us there, not an act of God.I’m just waiting for the lawyers to line up if one of these flights goes down.