A report by Oxford Economics has estimated that the world economy lost US$4.7bn (A$5.7bn) as a result of the Icelandic volcano eruption which shut down large parts of European airspace during April, while further disruptions during May have added to that figure.
The report, which was commissioned by Airbus, found that between April 15-21 that the aviation sector made net losses of US$2.2bn (A$2.66bn) after accounting for deferred travel, while net visitor expenditure losses tallied US$1.6bn (A$1.9bn) as the number of flights crossing European airspace fell by 53 per cent. By region, the impact was largest upon Europe, with US$2.6bn (A$3.1bn) lost in GDP, followed by the Americas at US$957m (A$1.15bn), Middle East/Africa at US$591m (A$713m) and Asia at US$517m (A$624m).
“The far reaching impacts of the recent disruption to air transport have of course been felt acutely by travellers, airlines and destinations,” said Adrian Cooper, CEO at Oxford Economics. “But the impact has also been felt by those who rely on goods that are imported and exported by airfreight, and on general production and productivity. This report shows the integral role aviation plays in the basic and every day functions of society and commerce.”
The full report has been made available to the public, and can be accessed here.