England

East Midlands Airport reveals £1m volcano loss

Empty EMA departure lounge
Image caption Most of the disruption happened in April

East Midlands Airport has revealed flight cancellations caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud cost it more than £1m.

Brian Conway, the Castle Donington airport's head of external affairs, said more than 1,000 flights had to be grounded in April and May.

Mr Conway said the airport not only lost out on income from flights but also from parking and on-site sales.

The airport is calling for compensation from the government.

Mr Conway said about 63,000 passengers were affected at East Midlands Airport.

"Most of the disruption was caused through April, so when we look at the figures compared with the previous year - passenger traffic was down 31%.

"We've had two years of downturn effectively, so the ash impact has compounded the difficulties that the industry in this country is facing," he said.

He said there should be a compensation deal for all European countries affected.

"The compensation we're looking for is a Europe-wide package," he said.

"We want a level playing field rather then one or two countries doing it and the UK not."

The European Commission has said it will draw up guidelines to allow national governments to compensate airlines.

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