UK aviation watchdog launches action against Ryanair for ‘persistently misleading passengers’

THE UK’S CIVIL Aviation Authority (CAA) has begun enforcement against Ryanair over its decision to cancel thousands of flights.

The company today announced it will fly fewer aircraft during the winter in a move expected to hit up to 400,000 passengers with cancellations.

The change equates to 18,000 flight cancellations. Ryanair said it is offering alternate flights or refunds to the customers affected.

However, the CAA says that the company has been “persistently misleading passengers”. In a statement, the CAA said:

“In accordance with Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002, and during our consultation with the airlines, the CAA may seek legal undertakings from operators to ensure they change their policies and comply with the law.

“Should an airline refuse to engage/agree to change their policies and comply with the regulations, the next step would be to start legal proceedings (court action) pursuant to Part 8 of the Enterprise Act, for non-compliance of EC261/2004.”

Earlier this month, the CAA told the airline to make a corrective public statement, to ensure customers were not misled and had accurate comprehensive information relating to their rights and entitlements. Today’s statement did not fulfil that, the CAA says.

CAA chief executive Andrew Haines, said:

There are clear laws in place, which are intended to assist passengers in the event of a cancellation, helping minimise both the frustration and inconvenience caused by circumstances completely out of their control.

“We have made this crystal clear to Ryanair, who are well aware of their legal obligations, which includes how and when they should reroute passengers, along with the level of information it provides its passengers. The information Ryanair published today again fails to makes this clear.

“In expediting our enforcement action we are seeking to ensure that Ryanair’s customers will receive the correct and necessary information, to make an informed choice about an alternative flight.”

The CAA has brought 22 successful actions over the last six years.

Ryanair said in a statement:

“We are in correspondence with the CAA and have requested an early meeting to address their concerns.”

Read: Up to 400,000 people will be hit with fresh Ryanair flight cancellations

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