Page last updated at 07:24 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 08:24 UK

Pilots call for airline bail-out

Sign outside Heathrow Airport
Flights from UK airports have been suspended since Thursday

British pilots have called for a banking-style rescue of the UK airline industry, which has been ground to a halt by a volcanic ash cloud.

The British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) said the financial impact "could not be more serious".

"The government needs to step in and show the same approach it took to keeping banks afloat," Balpa said.

"If it fails to act it will find that an equally-important foundation of our economy is lost."

The airline industry is still struggling to recover from a global slump in demand for air travel, brought on by the economic crisis.

It is estimated that the flight restrictions that have been in place since Thursday will cost airlines about $200m (£130m) a day.

Balpa also called on action from the Europe Union.

"The EU needs to act as their delayed passenger compensation scheme was never designed with this situation in mind and is now crippling our industry," the union said.

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES Volcanic ash cloud: Pilots warn against 'rash' decisions to allow flights - 48 mins ago
Melbourne Age New ash cloud may extend travel turmoil - 1 hr ago
Sky News 'No-Fly' Zone For Much Of Britain Until 1am - 2 hrs ago
Daily Star Flights restricted until Wednesday - 2 hrs ago
Times OnlineFlights grounded again by new ash cloud - 4 hrs ago
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