Ryanair introduces cancellation levy

Irish budget airline Ryanair will add a two euro levy to passenger fares next month to offset the costs of compensation paid out for flight cancellations.

In a statement made earlier today, airline spokesman Stephen McNamara said the costs incurred by the airline over numerous cancellations brought about by the Icelandic volcano and snowstorms in Europe last year made the levy a necessity.

"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", said McNamara.

Under current EU regulations, all European airlines are obliged to profide funds for food and accomodation during the entire time in which passengers are stranded as a result of flight cancellations.

 "It is clearly unfair that airlines are obliged to provide meals and accomodation for passengers (for days and weeks in some cases), simply because governments close their airspace, air traffic controllers walk off the job, or incompetent airports fail to clear their runways of snow", said McNamara.