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Italy fines Ryanair over volcano cancellations

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-05-15

Italy's ENAC civil aviation authority fined Irish carrier Ryanair 3 million euros for failing to help passengers stranded by Icelandic ash between April 17 and 22 at Rome's Ciampino airport.

AFP - Italy fined Irish budget airline Ryanair three million euros on Saturday for failing to honour its obligations to assist passengers after cancelling their flights over volcanic ash.

Italy's civil aviation authority ENAC said following an investigation it had imposed on Ryanair "fines totalling around three million euros for 178 violations of its legal obligations to assist passengers in cases of flight cancelations."

The 178 violations took place between April 17 and 22, when the ash cloud from Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano caused the biggest aerial shutdown in Europe since World War II, affecting more than 100,000 flights and eight million passengers over a week.

ENAC reproached Ryanair in particular for its treatment of passengers at Rome's Ciampino airport, having failed to provide them with drinks, meals and hotel rooms as required by European regulations.

The Italian authority noted that most other airlines, despite the exceptional circumstances, had met their obligations to assist their passengers.

Ryanair initially insisted it would not assist stranded travellers and only refund the cost of their tickets, but later agreed to fully implement European regulations.

 

Date created : 2010-05-15

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