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Europe's skies have finally opened for business. Eight million passengers who have been stranded across the world can now get to their destinations.

Flights over European airspace were disrupted last Thursday due to ash clouds after a volcano in southern Iceland erupted.
 
And now as the skies clear up, flights are taking off, leaving the airline industry with two challenges.

First, they need to clear the backlog of stranded passengers.

Second, they need to deal with the massive losses they have incurred due to the temporary shutdown.

So, what is the extent of the losses incurred from the flight disruptions? And what will be the long-term impact?
 
Inside Story, with presenter Sohail Rahman, discusses with guests: Steven Lott, the head of the international air transport authority's corporate communications for North America; Nabil Sultan, a senior vice president for commerical operations at Emirates Airlines; and Howard Wheeldon, a senior strategist at BGC Partners. 

This edition of Inside Story aired from Wednesday, April 21, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera