Ryanair Holdings Plc will meet with the U.K.’s aviation regulator in an effort to avoid penalties over allegations the carrier is failing to properly inform customers of their rights to compensation from scrapping more than 21,000 flights.
The Civil Aviation Authority is starting an enforcement action against the carrier, accusing Ryanair of “persistently misleading passengers” about how the Dublin-based airline will make up for flight cancellations over the coming months that are affecting about 715,000 travelers. The company plans to meet with the CAA and will “comply fully with whatever requirements they ask us to,” a Ryanair spokesman said Thursday in an email.
Europe’s biggest discount carrier initially dropped about 2,100 flights in September and October, affecting some 2 percent of its daily offerings, after failing to adequately prepare for new vacation rules for flight-deck crews. It expanded that figure Wednesday to another 18,000 services into March. The company was already facing criticism over the mismanagement that led to the issues.
Among other complaints, the U.K. regulator said this week that Ryanair had repeatedly failed to inform customers about all the expenses they could reclaim in connection with the flight changes. Ryanair Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary has also incorrectly stated that the carrier isn’t obliged to reroute passengers on other airlines, the CAA said.
“There are clear laws in place, which are intended to assist passengers in the event of a cancellation, helping minimize both the frustration and inconvenience caused by circumstances completely out of their control,” CAA CEO Andrew Haines said in the regulator’s statement. “We have made this crystal clear to Ryanair, who are well aware of their legal obligations.”
All passengers affected by cancellations have been offered “re-accommodation or full refunds,” O’Leary said in a statement Wednesday. The company plans to offer more price reductions to win back disgruntled passengers following the scheduling disruptions.
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