The Italian Competition Authority has fined Irish LCC Ryanair €1.85 million ($2.1 million) for mass cancellations of flights because of personnel rostering problems in the fall 2017 and early 2018.
The authority concluded in September 2017 that Ryanair had cancelled numerous flights as a result of its own organizational and management failings, rather than extraordinary circumstances outside its control. These cancellations, the authority said, caused “considerable inconvenience to consumers who had long planned their travels and already booked and paid for their flight ticket.”
Added to this, the competition authority said the Irish carrier had been “misleading” in the ways in which it informed the passengers of the cancellations, as it offered them only the options of a refund or ticket change, without adequately informing them of the existence of their further right to financial compensation under the European Union’s Regulation 261/04.
EU261 stipulates compensation of several hundred euros per passenger in the event of flights being cancelled or delayed beyond a certain point, if the cause was within an airline’s control.
However, from February 2018, during the course of the authority’s investigation into the matter, Ryanair “changed its conduct, updating the information conveyed on its website, specifically in relation to the right to pecuniary compensation, as well as sending individual communications to interested consumers who have enabled them to fully understand all the rights due to them following the cancellation of flights and, consequently, to exercise them.”
The authority said this proactive action on Ryanair’s part resulted in it reducing the fine to €1.85 million, although it did not specify the amount by which it had been reduced.
“We note the ruling, which our lawyers are reviewing,” Ryanair said.