Carolyn Kaster  /  ASSOCIATED PRESS
An Icelandair airplane sits on the tarmac as travelers wait for a flight inside the Akureyi Airport, Saturday, April 24, 2010, in Akureyi, Iceland. For the first time since the April 14 eruption, Iceland's major international airport was closed after shifting winds blew the ash cloud toward the capital of Reykjavik, west of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Trans-Atlantic flights on Icelandair that usually stop in Iceland were being rerouted through Glasgow in Scotland. Akureyi Airport remains open with an afternoon flight to Glasgow. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
updated 4/26/2010 6:04:30 PM ET 2010-04-26T22:04:30

France's top tourism official says the ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano cost French airlines, tour operators and travel agencies about euro260 million (US$346 million).

France's secretary of state for tourism, Herve Novelli, also says a mediator will be assigned to address claims from travelers seeking to get money back after their plans were stymied.

Novelli said Monday the mediator's team will try to ease tensions between travelers and airlines or travel agencies and set a precedent for dealing with such problems in the future.

Meanwhile, Iceland's Civil Protection Agency said eruptions from Eyjafjallajokull volcano are decreasing and the plume was unlikely to cause further disruption to European airspace, since it too small to reach jet stream.

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