Ash crisis 'shows aviation's vital role'

THE boss of Edinburgh Airport has said that the volcanic ash chaos has proved the importance to the city of the aviation industry.

Gordon Dewar, the outgoing managing director of Edinburgh Airport, said the problems "cast a large shadow over many of us".

He added that the full impact of the delayed and cancelled flights is still not known.

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"Beyond the initial week, the ramifications of the crisis are still unfolding," he said.

"The potential reluctance of people to fly, the ongoing impact on the tourism industry and the large dent in the reputation of aviation all remain with us and pose big challenges for Edinburgh Airport and the Capital.

"The crisis underlined the importance of aviation to a country like Scotland. We're a country at the north-west periphery of Europe. Tourism is one of the biggest employers and exports, and aviation is still the main access to the vast majority of our overseas markets."

He said the response to the crisis – with hotels and the hospitality trade offering discounts to stranded passengers – showed the city in "a great light".

Mr Dewar plans to leave in late summer to become CEO of Bahrain Airport Company.