The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) last night said it would accelerate “enforcement action” for “persistently misleading customers” with inaccurate information after a spate of mass flight cancellations.
The budget airline announced yesterday that 34 routes will be suspended from November through to March 2018 as it seeks to bring an end to recent flight cancellation troubles.
The decision means routes including London Gatwick to Belfast, and London Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow have been suspended, with up to 18,000 flights and 400,000 more people affected.
The London-listed Irish airline said it will slow growth to curb the risk of having to announce more cancellations by flying 25 fewer aircraft and reducing its flying schedule.
But yesterday’s cancellations prompted the regulator to expedite enforcement against the airline, saying the airline had “failed to provide customers with the necessary and accurate information relating to their passenger rights, particularly around re-routing and care and assistance entitlements, which includes expenses”.
The regulator has warned it could seek legal action against Ryanair for breaching consumer protection laws, though it is not yet clear what form the enforcement action will take.
The action comes after Ryanair said it was cancelling 2,000 flights after the airline miscalculated pilot leave.
CAA chief executive Andrew Haines said: “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.”
Alex Neill, of Which?, said: “Ryanair is still flouting the law and failing to properly inform people of their rights, so it is good to see the regulator stepping in. They must ensure their intervention forces Ryanair to immediately change its behaviour and comply with the law.”
Ryanair shares closed up 4.01 per cent yesterday, despite the cancellations. The enforcement action was announced after the market had closed.