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2010 – the Volcano and the Euro Crisis

External influences had a strong impact on the travel business

Following the previous year’s severe worldwide economic crisis, the 2010 financial year was also heavily influenced by external factors. There were two particularly significant outside influences for Kuoni: the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland and the resulting flight bans in April 2010 and the ramifications of the financial crisis in several European countries, especially Greece.

Other important negative factors included renewed political violence in Thailand and the travel problems caused by snow and ice throughout Europe in January and December 2010.
By the middle of April 2010, the Icelandic volcano, which was initially only reported as another harmless eruption, had caused the largest disturbance to civil air traffic in Europe since the Second World War. Molten lava spewing from Eyjafjallajökull’s crater combined with ice to create a cloud of ash that threatened to damage aircraft engines. Unfavourable winds pushed this cloud east and south till it covered Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and the whole of Central Europe. Most of the 30 000 daily flights in Europe had to be suspended for a period lasting several days. The IATA, the aviation industry’s trade association, estimated the cost at 200 million US dollars a day.