11 FEBRUARY 2013


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Article from BTNews 11 FEBRUARY 2013

Ryanair ordered to compensate

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ordered Ryanair to compensate a passenger who was forced to wait seven days for a flight during the 2010 ash crisis. 

Ryanair had attempted to avoid costs by arguing that the Iceland volcano eruption was so extraordinary that normal rules relating to cancelled flights should not apply.

The Court’s decision has not gone down well with the Irish airline who issued a (typically) misleading press release. 

"Today's decision will materially increase the cost of flying across Europe and consumer airfares will increase as airlines will be obliged to recover the cost of these claims from their customers, because the defective European regulation does not allow us to recover such costs from the governments or unions who are responsible for over 95% of flight delays in Europe”.

Others just paid up, British Airways noting that the disruption had cost the airline around £100m.  “We were aware of our duty of care obligations under EU261 and we did all we could to meet them, even though the cause of the situation was beyond our control”, said a spokesman.

easyJet met its EU responsibility and also instigated ash avoidance research (see BTN 12 December 2011).  The airline says that the Icelandic volcano expenditure was in the region of £57m. http://curia.europa.eu

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