The International Air Transport Association says disruptions to European air travel from the volcanic ash cloud have cost the industry at least $1.7 billion.

IATA says airlines lost revenues of $400 million each day during the first three days of grounding.

The group’s chief executive says the scale of the disruption was worse than after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.

Giovanni Bisignani told a news conference in Berlin that at one stage 29 percent of global aviation and 1.2 million passengers a day were affected by the airspace closure ordered by governments fearful of the risk ash clouds posed to airplanes.

Keywords: Whopping loss