Budget airline easyJet plans a class action lawsuit to win compensation for flight bans imposed by Europe's air safety authorities following a volcanic eruption in April, its chief executive told a German magazine.
We are already working on it with a group of other companies, including those outside the low-cost sector, Andrew Harrison told Wirstschaftswoche in an interview released ahead of publication on Monday.
It will be a suit from all airlines, he said, declining to give further details.
EesyJet declined to comment further.
Most of Europe's airspace was closed for nearly a week from April 15 after a huge ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano stranded millions of business passengers and holidaymakers and paralyzed freight and businesses.
The flight ban cost easyJet between 50 million and 75 million euros ($61 million and $92 million), said Harrison, who is due to step down as chief executive by the end of June to take the helm at British hotel operator Whitbread .
That was a natural catastrophe and there is no reason why the consequences must be borne by the airlines alone, particularly when it became apparent afterwards that a closure of that size was unnecessary, he said.
Lufthansa has also demanded compensation for the ban.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said the airlines lost more than $1.7 billion of revenues due to the volcano crisis.
(Reporting by Jonathan Gould; Editing by Hans Peters)