PARIS — 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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