Swiss Train Company SBB Made Millions From Ash Cloud Cancellations

09/01/2010 10:08 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

GENEVA — Switzerland's national rail company SBB says it earned millions from the ash cloud that paralyzed much of Europe's airspace in April.

The company says it earned 165.9 million Swiss francs ($163.8 million) during the first six months of the year, an increase of almost a quarter compared to 2009. SBB said Wednesday its profits increased 5 million francs ($4.9 million) as stranded air travelers scrambled to complete their journey by rail.

Plumes of volcanic ash led many European countries to close their airspace between April 15 and 20, affecting about 10 million travelers worldwide, including those at Switzerland's main international airports in Zurich and Geneva.

Switzerland, which lies in the center of Europe, has excellent train connections across the continent.