Airline Officials Question Restrictions

AMSTERDAM (AP) - Airline officials in Europe are scrambling to move stranded passengers. And they're questioning the government response to volcanic ash clouds.

The officials estimate their loses will top $2 billion from a week of limited service.

Virgin Airways head Sir Richard Branson told the BBC World News America that he thinks planes could have been flying sooner if planes had been allowed to see if the ash was actually too dangerous.

The air space over most of Europe is open again. But restrictions remain over parts of Britain, Ireland, France and the Scandinavian countries.

It appears about 80 percent of flights have been operating at Europe's biggest hubs. But airlines are expected to need as long as a week to get stranded passengers to their destinations.


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