Ash cloud chaos costs Thomas Cook £70m

THE chaos to air travel caused by the volcanic ash cloud knocked £70m off Thomas Cook’s profits.

But the travel operator said its first half loss narrowed despite the setback.

Thomas Cook reported a pre-tax loss for the half year to March 31 of £252.2m compared with £309m the year before.

Northern European airspace was shut down for six days last month after Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted, spewing ash into the air.

Thomas Cook said that – excluding the estimated impact of the volcanic ash cloud – it was confident of meeting expectations for the full-year.

Its shares have dropped by ten per cent since the disruption began.