Ryanair wins UK appeal over passenger compensation due to strike action
Ryanair, won its appeal ruling confirming the carrier is not liable to EU261 compensation in relation to disruptions caused by union-led strikes as such disruptions constitute extraordinary circumstances and are beyond the airline’s control.
This ruling follows similar court decisions in Ireland, Spain, Germany, France and Italy and UK Judge Iain Hughes QC found that “[a]ny court will readily accept that employment terms and conditions are part of running an airline, but that does not mean that a particular problem with terms and conditions must be inherent. The authorities make it clear that the court has to look at the cause or origin of the problem.”
In relation to “control” Hughes found that “as a matter of principle no airline can control the demands made on it by a trade union. All airlines, whether they are state-owned or owned by their shareholders, are subject to competing interests and cannot simply concede all such demands as are made on them by trade unions.
Ryanair’s head of marketing Kenny Jacobs said the airline welcome the UK court ruling that the 2018 strikes constituted extraordinary circumstances and therefore outside of EU261 compensation requirements.
“While we do not wish to disappoint customers, who may have been expecting EU261 compensation, we must defend such claims as we have a duty to all our customers (Ryanair will fly more than 150 million customers this year), our staff and the regions we serve to manage our costs responsibly. Failure by Ryanair in this regard would raise fares and reduce choice for all our customers, in particular on regional routes which are disproportionately affected by EU261 costs,” said Jacobs.