European airline Ryanair fined over ash-triggered flight cancellations

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Ryanair aircraft.

Italy today fined the Irish airline Ryanair three million euros over the airline's failure to assist passengers after their flights were canceled due to volcanic ash last month.

According to the civil aviation authority of Italy, ENAC, there were 178 cases of passengers not receiving mandatory assistance, such as accommodations and food, after Ryanair canceled their flights. Such assistance is required by European regulations to be given to passengers who have chosen to be re-routed.

ENAC noted that despite the situation, most other European airlines had succeeded in fulfilling their obligations to passengers. The agency was especially critical of the treatment of passengers at Rome's Ciampino Airport.

Ryanair had no comment on the announcement. In its statement announcing the fines, ENAC said that "fines totalling around three million euros for 178 violations of its legal obligations to assist passengers in cases of flight cancellations" had been imposed on Ryanair.