The chief of British Airways says test flights have proven that the blanket restrictions EU governments have imposed on flights because of volcanic ash are unnecessary.
BA chief Willie Walsh said Monday the airline's assessment is that "the risk has been minimal" and called for new government policies to get planes back in the air.
The airline industry says it has lost at least $1 billion due to five days of closed airports. British Airways, already hit by a cabin crew strike last month, says it alone is losing as much as 20 million pounds ($30 million) every day.
Walsh said airlines are in the best position to determine whether it is safe to fly and that the BA test flight Sunday — along with other airlines' flights in the ash cloud — "provides fresh evidence that the current blanket restrictions on airspace are unnecessary."
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