Compensation over volcano travel costs still up in air
Published 10/02/2012 | 05:00
THE European Court of Justice is unlikely to rule until the end of the year on a landmark case involving Ryanair and a passenger compensation claim.
The outcome of the case will have major implications for Europe's aviation sector.
Lawyers for Ryanair and for Dublin woman Denise McDonagh appeared before the court's advocate general and five judges yesterday to present arguments.
Ms McDonagh wants Ryanair to refund €1,129 to her for costs she incurred while stranded in Portugal after northern European airspace was closed down in 2010 as a result of the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano.
But the two sides have argued over whether Ryanair had an obligation to provide 'care and assistance' to Ms McDonagh.
Ryanair has insisted that the closure of airspace in 2010 went beyond even extraordinary circumstances and that it shouldn't be liable for associated passenger costs.
Ms McDonagh took her case in the Swords District Court in Dublin. The court referred the case to the European Court of Justice to determine the validity of the relevant EU law.
A spokesman for the European Court of Justice said that the advocate general is likely to deliver a non-binding view in a couple of months, but that the judges won't make their ruling until towards the end of the year.
Ryanair claimed yesterday that the current EU rules are "discriminatory and unfit for purpose".