Ash and Air France

I note somewhat warily, that Air France are whinging about the no flight rules.

I've got fvck all sympathy.

Anyone who does may like to consider that after the Air France flight 447 went down off the coast of Brazil in 2009 Air Franceoffered different levels of compensation to families contingent on nationality - Europeans were at the bottom of the pile. In fact, the Brazilian courts are having none of it and have awarded the family of a Brazilian women $1.16m. Obviously, Air France and their insurers, Axa, are appealing. 

The latest headline on flight safety tells us

BN 12:01 *NATO JETS SUFFERED ENGINE DAMAGE FLYING THROUGH ASH, AP SAYS

However, the EU say that there was no indication of ash was found in 40 test flights over the weekend. I'm going with better safe than sorry here.

I appreciate that there are no absolutes here and that volcanoes are unpredictable things, but there is no rush to do anything until there are some certainties. If Air France and others who are so keen to fly were told they will be first to be recruited to pick up body parts if a bad thing happens then they might temper their enthusiasm somewhat.

The airlines are under financial pressure. We've already seen how much money means to Air France. I suspect the airlines are exerting that pressure on their government; ie "We want to fly, (or we're going to pretend we want to), but if you don't want the political risk then compensate us."

(Just as an aside, I've noticed over the last days that BA keep giving short term limits on the flight ban ie "no flights before 9pm tonight." Ryanair, and lord I hate Ryanair, have been much more robust and up front with their passengers. A marooned friend tells me though, that the most realistic and direct advice has come from the private jet operators TAG Aviation who just tell it as it is. Why would BA muck people around more than they already have been?).