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Ryanair and Aer Lingus anger over compensation bill

The country’s two biggest airlines Ryanair and Aer Lingus are to clash with Irish Aviation Authority (IAA ) over a compensation bill of €1 million after the radar debacel in Dublin Airport earlier in the month.

Over 35,000 passengers were delayed or had their flights cancelled between July 9 and 14 when the radar system failed.

And under EU law, if passengers are delayed for more than two hours are entitled to free meals and sometimes free accomodation. While passengers who have their flight’s cancelled are guaranteed similar rights. And as the passenger's contract is with the airline, the airline must foot the bill.

However Ryanair and Aer Lingus believe the IAA should fit the bill as it’s in charge of traffic control.

"We provided meal vouchers and we have to reimburse the hotel accommodation costs," Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary said over the weekend. "We have already written to the aviation regulator to see if we can get the IAA to reimburse us."

O'Leary added that Ryanair could face a compensation bill of "around €1m". "It will take a couple of weeks for claims to get to us," he said.

A spokeswoman for Aer Lingus said, "We have written to the IAA indicating our intention to pursue legal action. We will be making a legal claim when the total cost of the disruption has been determined, which is thought to be a six-figure sum or more."

A spokeswoman for the IAA revealed it had not made a decision on whether it would foot the airlines' compensation bills. "However, across the EU, there is no precedent for compensation to be paid by air traffic controllers," she said.

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