Report: Volcano Ash Cloud Costs U.S. $650 Million

This aerial photo shows a plume of ash rising from the volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier, Monday, April 19, 2010. AP Photo/Jon Gustafsson

This aerial photo shows a plume of ash rising from the volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier, Monday, April 19, 2010.
AP Photo/Jon Gustafsson

While the eruption of an Icelandic volcano appears to primarily affect airlines and passengers waiting for flights in and out of Europe to resume, the U.S. Travel Association estimates that the ash cloud produced by the eruption has cost the U.S. economy $650 million, approximately $130 million per day.

That kind of loss to the economy affects the cashflow to fund about 6,000 American jobs, the association said. Every international flight bound for the U.S. is worth an average of $450,000 in spending from travelers, which the association says pays for five jobs per flight.

"While safety must always be the primary consideration, economies, particularly those recovering from recession, cannot afford an overreaction that stifles travel completely," Roger Dow, the association's president and CEO, said in a statement.

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  • Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for CBSNews.com

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