Ryanair staff have officially reigned in strike rhetoric, with little public response by the company.
However, the independent watchdog of the airline industry in the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has declared that Ryanair should financially compensate any and all passengers who have been affected by the previous strikes.
Due to strikes, the company have cancelled approximately 150 flights in a single day, which equates to about 6% of their daily flight total. These will primarily affect Germany, Portugal, Italy, Spain, and Belgium, although their final destinations will also be affected, including the UK.
From these strikes, it seems that over 24,000 people have been affected.
Under Regulation 261, put forth and established by the European Union, travellers on flights that have been cancelled are entitled to a new flight, or a full refund if their flight is cancelled.
Equally, passengers are entitled to claim £110 if any flight is cancelled within 14 days of departure, assuming that this cancellation is the fault of the airline itself, which does include staff going on strike.
Ryanair To Fight?
However, airlines can refuse to pay out in the event of ‘extraordinary circumstance’; usually this only applied to bad weather, but many airlines have been known to attempt to stretch this definition, to avoid paying out compensation to customers.
There is currently a debate going on between the CAA and Ryanair.
The CAA maintains that because the strikes are being held by Ryanair staff the company is legally liable, and therefore should pay compensation.
Ryanair in response is suggesting that as the strikes have been caused by, in their opinion, unions and lobby groups, combined with competitor airline crews, the strikes should actually count as extraordinary circumstances, as the strikes are beyond their control.
Share Price Impact
Many passengers have taken to social media to voice their concerns and dissatisfaction with Ryanair’s handling of the situation. The situation threatens to damage the reputation of the company, combined with affecting brand loyalty.
If the situation continues, and the dispute between the CAA and Ryanair is not solved at any point soon, this is likely to have a negative impact on the share prices of the company, which may also have a resulting positive effect on their competitors.