Siim Kallas confirmed that the EU would apply "maximum pressure" to force airlines to comply with European legislation and offer refunds to passengers, but said individual countries could provide aid to companies in the form of market-rate loans and guarantees.
He said the EU aimed to fast-track proposals by the end of the year for an integrated European airspace, with a "single sky" to replace the current system of each country monitoring its own airspace.
"The volcanic ash crisis that paralysed European air transport for nearly a week made it crystal clear that the single European sky is a critical missing link in Europe's infrastructure," Iata director general Giovanni Bisignani said this week.
Kallas said the EU was also aiming to introduce Europe-wide planning to provide other forms of transport should one mode become so stricken again.
The break also gave a chance for NATO to conduct large-scale air exercises over Western Europe.
"Invisible ash." Genius.
Britain's airspace was closed under false pretences, with satellite images revealing there was no doomsday volcanic ash cloud over the entire country.