Budget airline Ryanair is imposing a new £2 passenger charge on all bookings made from April 4 to cover the cost of cancellations and delays.

The airline said the extra money would help it cover the extra €100 million (£87.8 million) costs it has incurred due to the 15,000 flight cancellations arising out of the Icelandic volcano disruption and the snow closures of many European airports last winter, as well as the 15 days of strikes in

Belgium ,France, Germany and Spain.

The Irish no-frills carrier slammed the “unfair and discriminatory” charges it has had to pay out to passengers to cover meals, hotels and phone calls during such events.

Ryanair said that if passenger compensation regulation EU261 was changed, it would cut or get rid of the levy.

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Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: “The EU261 regulations are clearly discriminatory in the way they are applied to airlines, by making airlines responsible for delays, cancellations and right of care expenses during force majeure (unforeseeable) events such as volcanic eruptions, the snow closure of

airports and the frequent Air Traffic Control strikes across Europe.

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

He added: “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.”

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