Low-cost carrier Ryanair has announced it will introduce a new €2 levy on all flights in order to meet the costs of flight cancellations, delays and its EU261 costs in ‘force majeure’ cases.
The airline said it has suffered costs of over €100 million over the past year from such incidents, arising from more than 15,000 flight cancellations.
Some 2.4 million passengers had been disrupted, Ryanair continued, with the majority arising in periods during which Ryanair was prevented from flying by the failure/inaction of third parties including.
Notable periods include the Icelandic volcano airspace closures, the snow closures of many EU airports during Christmas 2010 and over 15 days of national air traffic control strikes, primarily in Belgium, France, Germany and Spain.
Ryanair believes the “unfair and discriminatory” elements of the airline EU261 regulations should be amended.
However, until this is achieved, the levy will meet costs.
Ryanair spokesperson, 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 events such as volcanic eruptions, the snow closure of airports and the frequent ATC strikes across Europe.
“Despite repeated calls, the European Commission and EU Governments have still failed to make Europe’s air traffic control services an essential service, which (like their US ATC counterparts) should not have the right to strike.”
Ryanair confirmed that if the EU261 regulations are reformed, to include an effective right of recovery clause and a non discriminatory “force majeure” clause then it will reduce the levy.