Ryanair today announced it will increase the €2 EU261 levy to €2.50 per passenger for all bookings made from 1st March 2013 in order to fund an expected increase in its EU261 costs in “force majeure” cases where the airlines are clearly not responsible for delays or cancellations.
Ryanair regrets the recent decision of the European Court which now allows passengers to claim for flight cancellations which are clearly and unambiguously outside of an airline’s control and have made airlines the insurer of last resort, even when in the majority of cases (such as ATC delays or national strikes in Europe) these delays are entirely beyond an airline’s control.
Ryanair also confirmed that if the EU261 regulations are reformed, to include an effective right of recovery clause and a non discriminatory “force majeure” clause then Ryanair will reduce and/or eliminate this levy altogether if Ryanair’s cancellation and delay costs reduce over the coming years.
Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said:
“Ryanair regrets that last month’s decision of the European Court, which now allows passengers to claim for flight delays which are clearly and unambiguously outside any airline’s control (and which now makes the airlines the insurer of last resort) will materially increase the cost of flying in Europe and airfares will increase as airlines are obliged to recover the cost of these manifestly unfair claims from their customers.
Making airlines financially liable for volcanoes in Iceland, snow in Heathrow or regular ATC strikes in France and Spain is the equivalent of making Toyota and Audi liable for traffic jams in London. We should not be liable for compensation for events which are clearly outside of our control.”