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04 April 2011 16:31
Ryanair is to introduce a two euro surcharge to cover the cost of cancellations
Passengers on Ryanair face paying nearly an extra two euro to cover the cost of paying for compensation under EU Laws.
From April 4 each passenger will be charged an extra two euro (around £1.76) per booking.
The budget airline said the extra charge would help to covers its costs under the EU 261 European passenger compensation regulation.
The Irish carrier said that over the past year it has suffered costs of over 100 million euro (about £87.8 million) arising from flight cancellations, delays and providing right to care, compensation and legal expenses.
It said these arose from more than 15,000 flight cancellations and over 2.4 million disrupted passengers, "with the majority of these claims arising in three periods during which Ryanair was prevented from flying by the failure/inaction of third parties".
This included the spring 2010 Icelandic ash cloud crisis, the air traffic control (ATC) strikes in Europe last summer and the airport closures due to the bad weather before Christmas, all which would have no doubt seen many people turning to their
travel insurance providers for compensation.
Ryanair said if the EU261 regulations were reformed, it would reduce or eliminate the levy.
Ryanair's Stephen McNamara said: "The EU261 regulations are clearly discriminatory in the way they are applied to airlines, by making airlines responsible for delays, cancellations and right of care expenses during force majeure (unforeseeable) events such as volcanic eruptions, the snow closure of airports and the frequent ATC strikes across Europe."
He went on: "While we regret the imposition of this levy, the extraordinary costs which have been imposed on us by delays and cancellations under these discriminatory regulations must be recovered from passengers."
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