ASH CLOUD: Grounded airline fears ash damage from quick return to flight

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At least one airline grounded in the European areas affected by the volcanic ash cloud is worried that it might be pressured to fly again before the risk is over.

EasyJet has told Flight International that it is taking advice from Boeing, Airbus and the engine manufacturers about the risks involved in flying when there is still "residual" volcanic ash in the air because of the potential for damage to the aircraft engines.

Even if the engines were to continue to operate despite the ash, the airlines fear that resulting component erosion by could affect their performance for life, reducing their efficiency and therefore increasing emissions.

EasyJet says it fears a powerful media expectation that the airlines must rush to clear up the backlog of thousands of stranded passengers might force a return to flying before it is safe, and that such an eventuality could produce repercussions the industry would regret for years.