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7 - Dec - 2018

Britain’s Aviation Regulator Sues Ryanair over Refusal to Compensate Delayed Passengers

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has taken Ryanair to court over refusal to compensate passengers after a recent series of industrial actions caused delays or cancellation of flights in the EU.

Ryanair staff in Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Portugal walked out for 24hours in a series of strikes during the summer in a dispute over pay and work conditions.

Michael O’Leary said Ryanair doesn’t have to compensate passengers under European law as the strikes were “extraordinary circumstances”. He added that the industrial action by workers caused “minimal disruptions” and he also promised not to “rollover”.

According to EU law, passengers must be compensated if flights are delayed for three hours or more or if there are cancellations and it’s the airline’s fault.

The CAA said the strikes were not “extraordinary circumstances” and therefore passengers should be compensated.

What is classified as “extraordinary circumstances” under EU law would be situations like bad weather or air traffic controller strikes.

The regulator also said that Ryanair terminated services of an arbitration company that was meant to help settle the compensation dispute and, “as a result of Ryanair's action, passengers with an existing claim will now have to await the outcome of the Civil Aviation Authority's enforcement action”.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “Customers would have been outraged Ryanair attempted to shirk its responsibilities.”

A Ryanair spokesman said: "Courts in Germany, Spain and Italy have already ruled that strikes are an “extraordinary circumstance” and EU261 compensation does not apply. We expect the UK CAA and Courts will follow this precedent.”

By Airport Pickups London