Volcanic ash prompts spike in web traffic

There was a spike in visits to aviation and rail operator websites yesterday after volcanic ash from Iceland grounded all flights from the UK.

Hitwise said UK visits to aviation websites increased by 96% as all UK flights were halted.

Flights are expected to remain grounded for a second day as the ash drifts across Europe.

Eurostar also saw traffic soar on its website. A spokesman revealed that there are just one or two seats left on trains over the weekend.

She added: “Yesterday morning the queries were in the hundreds and they quickly rose to the thousands as those affected looked for alternatives and the site traffic has spiked sharply.

“It is difficult to tell where the most demand comes from but anecdotally it seems it is coming more from people outside the UK trying to get back.

“We were already very busy as the weekends are a very popular time.”

Reports claimed the disruption could cost airlines £100 million if it continues into the weekend.

The disruption had an immediate impact on Ryanair after the airline grounded all of its British and Irish flights.

More than £70 million was wiped off the company’s market value, while BA’s market value fell by £4.5 million and easyJet’s dropped by £5.6 million.


Ash cloud coverage from Travel Weekly

April 16

April 15

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