LONDON Asian chip and cellphone makers could be impacted if the European air-space closure does not end soon, according to a Dow Jones Newswire report.
Most electronic products from Asia are shipped by sea but smaller products such as cellular phone handsets and chips are shipped by air, the report added. Companies that could be affected include Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Elpida Memory Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. as well as European companies that outsource their manufacturing to Asia, such as Nokia, the report said.
Samsung said it could manage with inventories-on-hand until Wednesday, the report said. "If this volcano problem lasts longer than expected, it would have a direct impact on Samsung's chip and cellphone exports," the report quoted Samsung spokesman James Chung saying.
The extensive closure of European airspace, due to a cloud of ash from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano on Iceland, has been criticized by the International Air Transport Association, the body that represents some 230 airlines responsible for 93 percent of scheduled international air traffic. It said the crisis is costing the European economy billions of dollars in lost business.
Even if the authorities could agree to resume fights over all of Europe it could take between three and six days to return operations to normal because of the disruption already caused, the report quoted IATA as saying. Airlines and governments are focusing on trying to provide help for the tens of thousands of stranded passengers trying to return to Europe.
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