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UK aviation authority takes Ryanair to court over compensation claims

The CAA said that it was taking enforcement action against the budget airline after Ryanair’s decision not to compensate the customers who had flights cancelled.

Image: DPA/PA Images

THE UK’S CIVIL Aviation Authority has said that it has begun legal action against Ryanair over the airline’s failure to compensate thousands of UK-based customers.

The CAA said that it was taking enforcement action against the budget airline after Ryanair’s decision not to compensate the customers who had flights cancelled or delayed as a result of strikes by the airline staff over the summer. 

The CAA asserts that the customers have a legal right to compensation, but Ryanair asserts that compensation is not payable under European Commission Regulation 2612004.

“Ryanair passengers have made claims for compensation directly to the airline, but these have been rejected,” the authority said in a statement. 

“Passengers have then been able to escalate their complaints to AviationADR, a body approved by the Civil Aviation Authority, to provide alternative dispute resolution for passenger complaints. 

Ryanair has now informed the Civil Aviation Authority that it has terminated its agreement with AviationADR. As the Civil Aviation Authority said at the time of the industrial action, in its view, the strikes were not “extraordinary circumstances” and were not exempt, meaning consumers should be compensated in accordance with Regulation EC261/2004.

The CAA closed its statement by saying that passengers with an existing claim against the airline will have to wait for the outcome of the enforcement action.   

In a statement from Ryanair carried by the BBC, a spokesperson said:

Courts in Germany, Spain and Italy have already ruled that strikes are an ‘exceptional circumstance’ and EU261 compensation does not apply. We expect the UK CAA and courts will follow this precedent.

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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