Test-Aankoop threatens suit against Ryanair


Low-cost airline Ryanair has cancelled nearly 300 flights out of Zaventem and Charleroi, angering both passengers and consumer groups

‘Not acceptable,’ says minister

Consumer organisation Test-Aankoop has threatened to take legal action against low-cost airline Ryanair over a decision to cancel a number of flights out of Brussels and Charleroi airports between now and the end of October. The Irish-owned airline claims that the cancellations – 40 to 50 a day – are being made to allow pilots to take accrued holidays.

According to a list published on Monday by Ryanair, the cancellations include flights from Brussels South Charleroi Airport to Milan, Pisa, Venice, Warsaw, Manchester, Marseilles, Toulouse and Copenhagen. From Brussels Airport in Zaventem, they include flights to Rome and Lisbon.

The company said customers who had booked flights would be notified by email. Each passenger is entitled by law to a full refund and statutory damages. In the EU, that means between €250 and €600, depending on the distance of the cancelled flight.

The two airports will see 294 cancellations in total. The worst affected airport is London Stansted, with more than 600 cancelled flights.

“This is a mess of our own making,” said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary. “I sincerely apologise to all our customers who were worried over the weekend.”

Federal consumer affairs minister Kris Peeters, meanwhile said that he was also considering taking Ryanair to court. “If it appears that the low-cost airline has not met its obligations, then we are dealing with the question of consumers being misled,” Peeters said. “The cancellation of flights on such a scale is not acceptable.”
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