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Airline defiant over compensation

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The importance of travel insurance has been underscored again after a major budget airline refused to pay full compensation under EU rules for passengers stranded by volcanic ash flight disruptions.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary caused an uproar after insisting that the airline will reimburse only the air fare and not pay any additional costs incurred by the travellers due to the delays.

The EU regulations on compensation were termed "unfair" by Mike Carrivick, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives which represents more than 90 airlines. He said the relevant rules could not be applicable in a situation such as this.

Meanwhile, airports within the UK airports were resuming near full service on Thursday morning. Air traffic control company Nats said a "volume of traffic approaching 90%" was expected after flights operated at "approximately 80% of normal traffic levels" on Wednesday.

Dense volcanic ash remained in UK airspace over the far north of Scotland until the early hours of Thursday.

© Press Association 2010