30 April, 2021

Ryanair loose compensation avoidance case

Back in 2018, the UK's Civil Aviation Authority started enforcement action against the budget carrier  Ryanair after the airline decided to break the rules and claim financial compensation is not payable under European Commission Regulation 261/2004 for flight disruption resulting from industrial action by the airline's staff during the summer of 2018.

Ryanair passengers have made claims for compensation directly to the airline, but these have been rejected. 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.

Yesterday,  the high court agreed with the CAA,  Paul Smith, Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Ryanair has refused to pay compensation to passengers affected by industrial action taken by its pilots in 2018. We believed that these passengers were in fact protected by law and that Ryanair could not claim its delayed and cancelled flights were 'extraordinary circumstances'. The High Court has today agreed with our interpretation of the law. 

“We are committed to protecting the rights of air passengers and are determined to ensure all airlines comply with their legal obligations.”

As Ryanair has the right to seek to appeal the judgment, affected customers should await further information before pursuing their claims.

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