Irish airliner Ryanair could face a massive fine if it fails to compensate  air passengers who were stranded by the volcanic ash cloud that crippled Europe's airspace.

Ireland's Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) stated that Ryanair will not cover any expenses incurred by stranded passengers.

Ryanair have declared that they will only refund the price of the plane ticket purchased, which in some cases may be as low as $1.

CAR spokesperson Patricia Barton said that Ryanair's failure to compensate stranded passengers would be breaking EU law.

Barton said that the airline "could end up" in court and be ordered to pay $6,700 to each passenger that takes Michael O'Leary and his airline to court.

"Unfortunately, this is not a matter Ryanair or any other airline has the right to pick and choose on. It is the law, it is binding".

O'Leary argues, "There’s no legislation designed that says any airline getting a fare of €30 should be reimbursing passengers many thousands of euro for hotel accommodation. It’s absurd".

EU regulation 261, article seven, states that passengers are entitled to be compensated for hotel, transport and subsistence costs, if there flight is cancelled.

If passengers are unhappy about the care they received they can appeal to the CAR.

If Ryanair refuses to obey CAR, they will be taken to court.

Ryanair boss, O'Leary, has said he will not comply with CAR and stated that he will see them in court.

In other news, the volcanic ash cloud has drifted away from European airspace; normal air services are expected to return within the next 3 days.

Europe's flight capacity is expected to reach 85% today.

Ireland's Aviation Authority (IAA) said it was safe to fly in Irish airspace again, however restrictions will be reinforced if the volcanic ash cloud returns.