Sunday, April 18, 2010

Relentless Incompetence Scattered Across EU "Lufthansa, which says it is losing €25m ($34m, £22m) a day from the crisis, said it was “scandalous” for authorities to have imposed the ban on what appeared to be limited data from computer images, rather than flights testing safety.

Dubai’s Emirates airline said it was losing $10m a day, in part because of the accommodation and meals it is providing for about 6,000 stranded passengers.

“If this continues, then there won’t be any airliners left in Europe apart from Aeroflot,” said Vladimir Putin, the prime minister of Russia, which is less affected by the disruption.

Only 4,000 of the 24,000 flights that would normally operate on a Sunday across Europe were made, said Eurocontrol, the air-safety agency, which estimated that by Sunday night, more than 63,000 flights would have been cancelled.

“With 313 airports paralysed at the moment, the impact is already worse than 9/11,” said Olivier Jankovec, director-general of the airport group, ACI Europe. “More than 6.8m passengers have been affected so far and European airports have lost close to €136m

And from Reuters:
"The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates airlines are losing $200 million a day from the shutdown, which has caused chaos well beyond the immediate European airspace closed. Most airlines will be uninsured for this loss, although insurer Munich Re said on Friday it would consider offering cancellation insurance in future should the crisis produce demand."

This humble blogger asks; Why is this ban in place?

Here's how this scenario should work:
Let them fly.

If the skies are to dangerous and clogged with the Ash of Eyjafjallajokull, then the Airlines will not fly. The risk of loosing a plane in a cloud of smoke far outweighs the benefits of making just another flight.
However, if the skies are clear enough to fly in, then there is business to do and money to make, and the flights will take place when and where they are needed.

This is not an overly complicated situation, until the government muddles in. After the government takes command of the situation, there is suddenly an expectation of safety at the hands of an agency, and the bureaucracy begins to play a game of C.Y.A. as the days grind on.
With no loss of revenue, and the only risk to the agency being flights leaving too early, with an unreasonable expectation of safety, Because the airlines liability has been removed, with the responsibility for safety falling upon the shoulders of an agency, the delay for returning to flights will be longer then necessary. As a result, millions lost.
But this money is not lost by the hands of the EU, it is losses born by the airlines themselves, wallowing in the mandates of a government that has no monetary liability at stake.
With such a set up, nothing but bureaucratic inefficient incompetence can be expected.

There is no end in sight for this kind of unmitigated inefficiency and market intervention, and only further economic harm can result. Don't be fooled by believing this is limited only to Europe, such actions as this harm the developing nations the most. Agriculture is the most time sensitive product shipped globally, As the bountiful harvest of Africa, Asia and South America rots upon the loading ramps, the fascist of Europe dither onward into statism.

I take no pleasure in saying this, but the incompetence of man governing each other is a universal feature of society, and limited to no single society.

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