UK Scraps Action Against Ryanair And British Airways Over Refunds; Ryanair Announces New Venice Base And New Route Between Cork And Venice
Published on Oct 11 2021 11:04 AM in General Industry tagged: Trending Posts / CMA / Ryanair / IAG / Cork Airport / british airways / International Airlines Group / Competition and Markets Authority / Venice Marco Polo Airport
Britain's competition regulator has scrapped its action against Ryanair and British Airways over their failure to offer refunds to passengers prevented from flying by COVID-19 restrictions, saying that the legal position was unclear.
During pandemic lockdowns, instead of offering refunds to those legally unable to fly, International Airlines Group (IAG)-owned British Airways offered vouchers or rebooking and Ryanair providing the option to rebook.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) started action against the airlines in June, saying that passengers who were legally unable to take flights booked in good faith should have their money back.
But it has now said that the law does not provide passengers with a sufficiently clear right to a refund in such unusual circumstances.
Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said that the CMA "strongly believed" that the passengers should be offered a full refund.
"However, after considering the relevant law and gathering evidence in our investigation, we have concluded that the length of time that would be required to take this case through the courts, and the uncertain outcome, can no longer justify the further expense of public money," he said.
He added that the CMA hopes the law will be clarified.
Ryanair said that it welcomes the decision. "We operated a limited schedule during UK lockdowns for customers who travelled for essential reasons," a spokesperson said. "Passengers had the option to change their bookings without paying the flight change fee, and many availed of this option."
British Airways said in a statement that it had acted lawfully at all times during the crisis, issuing nearly four million refunds and offering highly flexible booking policies.
"We're grateful for [our customers'] support at a time when we've been navigating dynamic and fast-changing travel restrictions to maintain a limited schedule," it said.
Ryanair Announces New Venice Base And New Route Between Cork And Venice
The above news came as Ryanair announced a new base at Venice Marco Polo Airport and a new route between Cork and Venice.
A statement published on corporate.ryanair.com said, "Ryanair [has] announced its newest Italian base in Venice Marco Polo with three new Boeing 737 8-200 'Gamechanger' based aircraft, representing an investment of $300m alongside the introduction of 18 new routes (24 total) significantly enhancing Venice’s domestic & international connectivity to 12 European countries from Summer 2022.
"Ryanair's new Venice Marco Polo base will deliver:
- "Three new 737 'Gamechanger' based aircraft ($300m investment)
- "100 new direct jobs
- "18 new routes
- "24 routes in total (16 international / 8 domestic)
- "Over 160 departing flights per week
"Ryanair's new base at Venice Marco Polo represents our commitment to the Veneto region, where Ryanair has already opened a two aircraft base this year in Venice Treviso (operating 48 routes) and Verona Airport with today's announcement of 2 new routes to Porto and Palma from Summer 2022. Today's annocument further demonstrates Ryanair's ability to rebuild the Veneto region’s tourism industry as we will now operate 86 routes from Summer 2022 at Venice Marco Polo, Venice Treviso and Verona.
"With 24 routes to choose from at Venice Marco Polo, passengers can now book a well-deserved summer getaway, flying at the lowest fares to exciting destinations such as Barcelona, Gdańsk, Helsinki, Lisbon, and Stockholm. To celebrate the opening of its new Venice Marco Polo base, Ryanair has launched a seat sale with fares available from just €19.99, which must be booked by midnight Friday, 8th October, only on the Ryanair.com website.
"Ryanair's Director of Commercial, Jason McGuinness, said, 'As Europe and Italy's largest airline, we are delighted to open our newest Italian base at Venice Marco Polo with three new 737 'Gamechanger' aircraft, further strengthening the long-standing cooperation between Ryanair and the SAVE Group. Today's announcement of 86 routes (20 new) for the Veneto region demonstrates Ryanair’s ability to rapidly rebuild Italian tourism.
"'As Ryanair takes delivery of 55 new B737 8-200 'Gamechanger' aircraft this winter, we are delighted to announce that three of these will be based in Venice Marco Polo for Summer 2022, which represents a $300m investment in Venice Marco Polo Airport. These new aircraft will deliver a total of 24 destinations, including 18 new connections and 100 new jobs in an environmentally sustainable manner.
"'As consumer confidence returns, we call on the Italian Government to scrap the municipal tax for all Italian airports, which is damaging the competitiveness of Italian airports versus their European counterparts. The axing of this tax would facilitate a rapid recovery in Italian air traffic and jobs thanks to Ryanair's low fares and long-term growth plan.
"'To celebrate our new Venice Marco Polo base, we are launching an unmissable seat sale, with prices starting from just €19.99 (available until midnight Friday, 8th Oct). A much-deserved getaway is only a click away, so to avoid disappointment, we advise customers to act fast and book directly on www.ryanair.com before these amazing low fares are snapped up!'
"'Camillo Bozzolo, Commercial Director Aviation SAVE Group, said, 'The activation of Ryanair's new base in Venice strengthens the carrier's presence in our territory, accelerating the resumption of traffic started at the beginning of June with the opening of the Treviso base. For the SAVE Group, this represents confirmation of the centrality of the airports managed in the development strategies of the main carriers, which will speed up the recovery of pre-pandemic traffic volumes.
"'Thanks to the 3 aircraft that will be based at Marco Polo, the offer of outgoing destinations aimed at our catchment area will expand, thus connecting more and more niche destinations that will enrich the network of destinations served by the airport.'"
Route Between Cork And Venice
A separate statement published on corporate.ryanair.com about Ryanair's new route between Cork Venice said, "Ryanair [has] announced a new Summer 22 route connecting Cork to Venice, operating two weekly flights, following Ryanair's new base announcement at Venice Marco Polo Airport this week. As travel recovers to pre-COVID levels, Ryanair's growth continues to lead traffic and tourism recovery across Europe.
"Irish families and visitors can now book a much-deserved break to Venice next Summer and to celebrate, Ryanair has launched a €19.99 seat sale for travel until the end of October 22, subject to availability, which must be booked by midnight Saturday, 9th October on www.Ryanair.com."
"Ryanair's Director of Commercial, Jason McGuinness, said, 'We are delighted to announce this new route from Cork to Venice, operating two weekly flights, for Summer 2022. Ryanair remains committed to re-building Ireland's tourism industry and strengthening international connectivity as we continue to grow in Europe and travel returns to pre-COVID levels.
"'To celebrate, we are launching a seat sale with fares available from just €19.99 for travel until the end of October 2022, which must be booked by midnight Saturday 9th October. Since these amazing low fares will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com to avoid missing out.'"
Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.