Qantas resumed flights to and from Europe late last night after six days of cancellations caused by ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland.
Two Australian-bound Qantas aircraft were kept on the tarmac at Heathrow last night after the airline received reports of a “significant meteorological report” of ash on the proposed flight path.
Qantas flight QF6 from Frankfurt via Singapore touched at Sydney Airport this morning at 5:43am.
The airline has estimated that it will take two to three weeks to clear the backlog of passengers.
Mr Joyce said the cancellations were unlikely to have a big effect on full-year earnings, which is predicted to be between $300 million and $400 million this financial year.
”It won’t affect our earnings forecast,” Mr Joyce said. ”It’s five days of our operations not occurring into Europe, at between $1.5 million and $2 million [a day].”
Mr Joyce said the airline has spent $700,000 a day “out of its own pocket” to assist the 2000 stranded Qantas passenger with accommodation and other needs.
Qantas generates about 11% of its revenue from European flights, significantly less than its key regional rivals Singapore Airlines at 21%, Cathay Pacific at 20% and Air New Zealand at 30%.
Air France, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa have all taken to the skies for longer routes and also operated some of their medium- and shorter-haul routes.
Air Berlin and easyJet are operating partial services and Ryanair is expected to announce plans to resume its Northern Europe service.
Emirates said it operated all but two of its 39 scheduled flights to Europe, including 12 to the UK and seven to Germany, but warned there was a “long way to go before normality returns”.
Emirates have also reopened flights for passengers travelling from Australia on confirmed tickets to all of its destinations in Europe.Etihad has recommenced its scheduled services to London, Paris, Brussels, and Geneva, and would continue to operate services to these destinations, subject to the airports remaining open.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F