On the 5th of December, it was announced that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) would be taking legal action against Ryanair over their refusal to compensate thousands of UK-based customers after they cancelled hundreds of flights during the summer.
The delays and cancellations were caused by Ryanair pilots and cabin crew taking strike action over an ongoing dispute regarding their pay and working conditions.
The CAA says that customers are entitled to compensation under EU law, but Ryanair have rejected the claims on the grounds that the disruption arose from exceptional circumstances and would be exempt from issuing compensation.
Ryanair said: “Courts in Germany, Spain and Italy have already ruled that strikes are an ‘exceptional circumstance’ and EU261 compensation does not apply. We expect the UK CAA and courts will follow this precedent.”
Consumer rights organisations have welcomed the CAA's move as many passengers were left hundreds of pounds out of pocket after they had to organise alternative travel arrangements or accommodation.
Ryanair have been working to resolve its industrial relations problems with the union and recently signed a framework agreement with its German pilots and cabin crew as well as cabin crew in Belgium and Italy.