Sunday, April 18, 2010

My That’s a Fine Looking Ash You’ve Got There

Airports throughout Sweden are still shut down because of the volcanic ash blowing over from Iceland. Tens of thousands of flights have been cancelled throughout Europe and the travel problems are being described as the worst since September 11, 2001. It’s an impressive display of nature really (and for some photos of that impressive display check out Lost in Stockholm).

People throughout Europe have been stranded for days. As a friend told me, after arriving at Arlanda just half an hour before the airport was shut down, everyone wants to spend a weekend in Milan or Madrid, but no one wants to get stuck there for days with no return date in sight.

So while being stuck in Madrid for three extra days might sound fun, being stuck in Madrid with only enough underwear for one extra day might be less fun. Especially for the people around you. Instead, people are renting cars, buying train tickets, and just finding creative ways of getting home.

It will be interesting to see the economic effect when all is said and done. And no one knows when all will be said and done. Several days of cancelled flights tends to not be good for business. One can only hope that this will have some sort of Darwinian effect and this will be the death-knell for SAS (and the continued employment of my arch-nemesis Mikael).

Of course, for some, open airspace is a marketing opportunity. Which may explain why today around noon I saw a low-flying helicopter in Stockholm trailing a large red banner from Bauhaus. Advertising a Weber Grill. For 395 SEK.

Welcome to Sweden. And some seriously hot ash.

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  1. I saw that banner too flown by the helicopter! How hilarious, no aircrafts but you can advertise if you want!

    Thanks for posting to my collection of hot ash.

    Went to Arlanda Airport and it was so empty, it was creepy.

  2. Speaking about hot ash:

    No but Iceland really sux. They kill whales, they refuse to pay back money that they´ve borrowed, and now they fuck up the european air. Let us nuke em!

  3. Yes, it really will be interesting to see the economic effects. My roommate is from Iceland, and it amazes me how relaxed she is about the whole situation...she thinks it is hilarious and a bit ironic that the Icelandic airports are still open (i.e., Icelanders can fly to anywhere but Europe, but Europe can't go anywhere). Also I was wondering if you had heard about any changes in the the Swedish Accounting standards, or where to find out information about this. My friend in Sweden mentioned that for companies with fewer than 50,000 employees, companies were no longer required to consult an external auditor, or something to this measure. Have you heard anything about this?

  4. well this weekend I saw some dudes wearing face masks in town. And it was funny. But my dad said volcanoes work as a cleaner in the atmosphere eventually. So we can thank Iceland.

  5. Your dad is wrong... however really large ashclouds can lead to a global cooling. Last time that happend was in 91 when mount Pinatubo erupted.

  6. @Sapphire - Ill post collections of your hot ash any time. Or something like that.

    @The Beast - Iceland has been having a rough go of it this year.

    @Megan - oh man... I stopped thniknig about accounting the second I finished my final in Accounting 213 at Oregon about six years ago. I think your best bet is to check this website out though:

    @m8 - I haven't seen a single person with a facemask yet. But there's still time...

    @Pyro - so this might be earth fighting back against us?