Details are starting to emerge of the consequences of the ban on air travel for the property and regeneration community of the North West.
Untold scores of the 30,000 people said by the NWDA to work in the industry in the region remain abroad along with 200,000 other UK residents trying to get home.
The crisis will also be damaging tourism-related takings for the region's hoteliers, retailers, taxi drivers, restaurant owners and other trades that benefit from inbound spend. Liverpool Airport has cancelled 700 flights – in and out – since Thursday and Manchester more than 2,000. Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce estimated the city region's businesses will have lost £41.5m due to the disruption caused by the volcanic ash by the end of today.
Tom Bloxham, chairman of developer Urban Splash, was due to fly to Sydney for a two-day business trip to speak at the Australian National Architecture Conference on Tuesday night and is waiting to see if he will fly.
Jim Purves, partner and head of the property team at law firm Brabners Chaffe Street in Manchester, is stuck in Lanzarote on a family holiday and colleagues are now busily postponing this week's meetings.
Lucy Goddard, director of Manchester-based interior design studio NoChintz, is stranded in Milan after going to the international design show there last week. She was supposed to come back on Friday. Since then she's tried to get trains up through Europe to Calais but to no avail. The earliest train she is being told she can get is Friday. She's been quoted £1,800 taxi fare just to get into France.
Anoushka Done at SKV Communications in Manchester said missing a client's product launch in Belfast this week was not an option, so instead of flying from Manchester today, she will drive a hired car to Stranraer, leave it there and take a three-hour ferry to Northern Ireland: nine hours in all.
Heading in the opposite direction, Marc Duschenes, chief executive of Hale-based property fund manager Braemar, is on his way out of the country with finance director Jonathan Murphy to Bilbao in Spain via car and Eurostar to collect Murphy's wife who has been stranded after taking a city break as the cloud rose last week.
Duschenes said: "We've brought the office with us in the car and will be making conference calls along the way so it's business as usual."
Retail agents were due to travel to Berlin for the World Retail Congress starting on Wednesday 21 April, facing the prospect of a 12-hour train journey to Berlin, but the event organisers said it will now be held in October.
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