Richard Branson demands satisfaction from Britain’s government

Posted By: Selma Al-Faqih on April 26, 2010 11:31 am

Sir Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Atlantic airlines, is calling on his British government to pony up. Branson feels the decision to ground flights, costing the airline industry 1.7 billion dollars, was a mistake.

“Behind the scenes, our engineers and all the experts were telling us that there was no danger at all to flying and that the danger would have been if we had flown close to Iceland through the volcano. This was very much a government decision to ground the planes and we would suggest that the government should compensate the industry,” Branson said in London. Hundreds of thousands of travelers were stranded due to the weeklong interruption. / CC BY 2.0

He added there were “plenty of corridors” which airlines could have flown through and said: “I think the government has accepted that there was overreaction.

The good news?

The European Union and the continent’s air traffic agency want to move fast to abolish Europe’s fragmented national airspaces, which they say exacerbated the unprecedented air travel disruptions that grounded over 100,000 flights because of volcanic ash last week, according to the Washington Post.