Budget airline Ryanair has ended its defiance of EU regulations by agreeing to fully compensate its passengers caught up in the ash-cloud crisis.
On Wednesday the Irish no-frills carrier's chief executive Michael O'Leary said he would only reimburse travellers the original price of their air fare and no more.
But the airline said that it would comply with the regulations under which EU airlines are required to reimburse the "reasonable receipted expenses of disrupted passengers".
Ryanair's change of heart came as more of the Britons stranded overseas by the days-long airports shutdown were able to return to the UK.
The repatriation efforts were boosted by airlines and airports returning to a near-normal service and the arrival of a £500 million new cruise ship at the Spanish port of Bilbao where it was picking up hundreds of tourists in a rescue mission.
Mr O'Leary said: "The events of the last seven days, under which Europe's airlines were prevented from flying by the closure of European airspace, highlight how absurd and discriminatory the EU261 regulations are towards Europe's airlines."
He went on: "While competitor ferry, coach and train operators are obliged to reimburse passengers reasonable expenses, this reimbursement is limited to the ticket price paid to those operators.
"Yet the airlines are required by regulation to meet potentially unlimited expenses, in circumstances where there has been a catastrophic closure of European airspace over the past seven days, as EU governments and regulators wrongly applied a blanket ban on flights over European airspace."
Mr O'Leary continued: "Ryanair has long campaigned for these reimbursements under passenger rights legislation to be limited to the ticket price paid in the same way they are for train, coach and ferry operators.
"We will continue to work through the European Low Fares Airlines Association and other industry bodies to persuade the European Commission and the European Parliament to alter this regulation to put this reasonable limit on these reimbursement claims."