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UK Aviation Authority intervenes in Ryanair flight cancellations fiasco

Ryanair aeroplanesThe UK’s Civil Aviation Authority says passengers affected by Ryanair flight cancellations are entitled to fly with other airlines. The CAA has issued a statement saying all European Union airlines are expected to fulfil their obligations on the rights of passengers.

EU Directive 261 stipulates that when an airline cancels a flight it has to provide passengers with an alternate but equivalent means of reaching their designated destination as soon as possible. Ryanair representatives, including CEO Michael O’Leary, had been insisting stranded passengers would not be given seats on flights operated by other airlines.

The CAA says it ain’t so and Ryanair has to give passengers the choice of flying with other airlines. Andrew Haines is the head of the CAA and he says Ryanair executives are aware of their legal commitments.

He said the CAA had written a reminder to ensure there was no misunderstanding and the airline had confirmed it would be re-routing affected passengers on other airlines if needed. The CAA also told media sources the situation would be monitored closely to ensure Ryanair complied.

Airline industry analysts say the debacle of Ryanair’s flight cancellations will eventually affect more than 300,000 people. The situation reached crisis point over the previous weekend with the cancellation of 160 flights.

A lack of pilots and a mistake with the inauguration of a new holiday system for pilots means 2,100 flights will be grounded between now and the end of October. Ryanair has already bounced back from the crisis by announcing the launch of a super-sale with base fares starting at just £5.

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