Ryanair confirmed that it would pay for air travellers’ flights on other airlines if the need arose.
This move comes after the Dublin, Ireland-based carrier began the mass cancellation of flights due to a pilot shortage.
European passengers’ rights rules mandates an airline that cancels a flight should offer passengers “rerouting under comparable transport conditions to their final destination at the earliest opportunity” – even if that entails paying for a flight on another airline.
Around a third of a million passengers have had their flights cancelled by Ryanair between the months of September and October.
In “live chats” with passengers that were asking about alternative flights, they were told, “We are not giving the option to change the flight with another airline.”
When Ryanair suddenly cancelled more than 160 flights last weekend, numerous passengers were forced to book more expensive tickets on other airlines. They may now be able to claim refunds.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) stated: “Following an intervention from the CAA, Ryanair has confirmed to the UK regulator that it will reroute passengers on other airlines.”
CAA Chief Executive, Andrew Haines, remarked: “We fully expect all EU airlines to meet their obligations regarding passenger rights.
“Ryanair is well aware of these passenger rights and we have written to the airline to clarify their legal obligations and seek assurances on how and when they will provide alternative flights with other airlines.”
The CAA also said it would be keeping an eye on the situation to guarantee that Ryanair is offering the best rerouting choices available to the passenger. The organization has vowed that if Ryanair does not fulfill its legal obligations, it will look into measures that might include enforcement action.
Ryanair’s Head of Communications, Robin Kiely, said: “Given the fact we have already re-accommodated 75% of our affected customers and given the size of our network, it’s unlikely we will need to, but will do so if necessary, and have been doing so, in full compliance with EU261 legislation.
“Any customers whose flights have been cancelled have been contacted, and we advise customers to liaise with our customer service team so that we can take all necessary steps to re-accommodate them.”