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Dealing with volcanic ash and the flight standstill

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I am very relieved that European airspace is open again. We are now focused on getting everyone back as soon as possible and this is a big task. To help speed this up we are urging the UK Government to charter additional aircraft to accelerate the repatriation of the many tens of thousands of people stranded overseas.

I'm proud of the Virgin Atlantic team who have been working around the clock to keep passengers informed and looked after. It has been a an immense strain on everyone and we have a lot of work still to do.

All airlines accept that safety is of paramount importance, but we must use the experience of the last six days and learn from it. Airlines have long had to deal with volcanic activity and ash and systems have been developed around the world for flying around the ash clouds.

We must learn lessons from other parts of the world and ensure a whole continent is not brought to a stand still again.

Wishing everyone a speedy return home.

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