Markets in everything?

London minicab company Addison Lee said it had received requests to take passengers to cities as far away as Paris, Milan and Zurich.

(But did they fill them?)  Here is more.  Suddenly they are saying they don't really know when this will end

Addendum: Here is one pessimistic view, I do not vouch for it.  Read this too.


If this previous incident is comparable (which it may not be) then 19 days - i.e. more than the fortnight EasyJet say will cause them cashflow problems - is a minimum indication of how long it will take for the pumice to clear:

But I've no idea how comparable this is to the current situation...

lufthansa and KLM just flew a few airplanes today - w/o passengers, crew only.
no problem reported -- the cloud is not dangerous after all...

black swans don't exist after all!

Danish media also reported on several requests for taxis to Paris, Hamburg and Berlin. And people coordinated without problems on filling them!

"Their CEO was on board one of the test flights, so they must have been reasonably confident of its safety. I do think the whole thing is overblown"

Not quite. Each single flight might have a very low chance of crashing, but there are literally thousands of flights affected. I read that about 5000 flights per day have been cancelled. I don't know how accurate this is but it sounds about right. If each flight has a 1 in 100,000 chance of crashing that means that there is a 1 in 20 chance of at least one flight crashing. You might take a 1 in 100,000 chance (you probably do every day), but you certainly would not take a 1 in 20 chance.

Also I guess that our models of how the cloud of ash might develop are quite poor (why would anyone spend time developing such a model, how well could you calibrate and test it?).

Combine these two observations and I don't think its obvious that there is an over reaction from the authorities to this problem.

I read that at least the Lufthansa machines were allowed to start only because they flew on sight (and then don't need authorization from flight control or something) However this only seems possible because the sky was empty and maybe they also flew lower than normal.

John Cleese paid 3300 pounds for a cab ride from Olso to Brussels.

The dust doesn't have to cause catastrophic failure to stop air traffic. If it significantly increases wear on the engines and other parts it will be unprofitable to fly most flights.

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