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Friday 24th of May 2013
Natural events damage tourism and aviation
Natural disasters around the globe have been bad news for Australia’s tourism and airline industries. Recent problems caused by a volcanic ash cloud created by an eruption in Chile have added to the woes of flooding, cyclones and earthquakes in both New Zealand and Japan. According to John Lee of the Tourism and Transport Forum, the daily cost to the tourism industry could be in excess of A$10 million.
The problem has been made worse by a strong dollar which has resulted in more people travelling abroad than are entering the country. Economic issues in America and Britain have also contributed to dwindling tourism figures.
Qantas announced this week that the disruption caused by the ash cloud from Chile had already cost the carrier more than A$20 million. Alan Joyce, the flag carrier’s CEO, said natural events around the world had contributed to a loss of around A$200 million for the airline’s international business.
A slow domestic market has meant cost-cutting and a reduction in expansion plans, including the cancellation of aircraft orders. According to Joyce, the outlook is being made even bleaker by increasing competition from airlines in Asia and the Middle East and the high cost of aviation fuel.
Neil Hansford, from Strategic Aviation Solutions, estimates the daily cost to airlines to be in excess of A$30 million. He added that the situation had been exacerbated by the fact that the volcanic ash cloud had disrupted mid-week business flights. He went on to say that airports would also count the cost.
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