Ryanair Dismisses Claims Of Refusing To Help 178 Stranded Passengers <


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Ryanair Dismisses Claims Of Refusing To Help 178 Stranded Passengers

By Daniel Baxter

May 19, 2010 - United Kingdom airlines, Ryanair was fined $4 million on Friday by Italy's aviation authority, ENAC, in what ENAC has alleged Ryanair refused to help stranded passengers between April 17 and 22, 2010 when the ash cloud was most dangerous.

Ryanair, on Tuesday condemned what it believes are the politically motivated actions of ENAC which announced that it had fined Ryanair $4 million for 178 alleged violations of refusing to help stranded passengers between April 17 and 22, 2010.

Ryanair confirmed that it will vigorously defend and or appeal any such fines if or when it receives notification. Ryanair reports that no violations or fines have been brought to the company’s attention by ENAC or to allow the company the opportunity to defend or respond to these alleged claims.


Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said, “it is extraordinary that ENAC would announce on Saturday that Ryanair has been fined €3m for 178 alleged violations of EU261, without ENAC making any attempt to notify Ryanair of any of these cases, or allowing Ryanair an opportunity to explain how it complied with EU261 allegations before ENAC rushed to invent and then announce this unexplained €3m fine.

“At a time when all airlines across Europe were cancelling thousands of flights and disrupting millions of passengers, it is extraordinary that ENAC could investigate and then impose a €3m fine only upon Ryanair, yet not any other airline appeared to have warranted such sanction. This would appear to be the latest in a long series of biased, anti Ryanair rulings by ENAC, an organization which has repeatedly shown its bias and its lack of impartiality when it comes to cases relating to Ryanair.

“In the meantime Ryanair welcomes the latest injunction secured against ENAC last week in which the Italian Courts have ruled that ENAC cannot prevent Ryanair’s based aircraft landing at Rome Ciampino in the late evening. This latest injunction successfully prevents ENAC from disrupting Ryanair’s flights and passengers or forcing them to divert to Rome Fiumcino, instead of landing at  Rome Ciampino.


“Perhaps ENAC’s surprise announcement on Saturday of a €3m fine against Ryanair, for 178 claimed but unidentified breaches of EU261 is not unrelated to the fact that ENAC’s anti Ryanair activities were the subject of yet another successful injunction in the Lazio Courts on Wednesday of last week".

Ryanair pointed out the following facts:

1. During the disruptions from 17th to 22nd April, all Ryanair passengers in Italy were provided with the EU261 Notice either by Ryanair’s handling agents or through Ryanair’s website, where all passengers were directed for info and/or rebooking.

2. Many of the disrupted passengers in Italy were offered accommodation at Ryanair’s expense in local hotels, and those that couldn’t be accommodated (because of the extraordinary volumes) were advised to submit a claim for reimbursement of their hotel expenses to Ryanair at the end of their trips. This is the same procedure followed by all airlines in Italy and across Europe during the week of the 17th-22nd April and fully complies with EU261.

3. Ryanair and its handling agents complied with its EU261 obligation and continue to do so. ENAC referred to “investigations” into 178 cases, yet not one investigation or enquiry has been made by ENAC to Ryanair relating to any of these cases. How can ENAC claim to have investigated these cases and fined Ryanair, without seeking any response or defense from Ryanair?

4. ENAC cannot issue fines without first bringing the alleged violations to the attention of the airline, and allowing the airline to respond to such allegations.  ENAC’s fines are therefore unlawful and in breach of the EU261 regulations and which Ryanair believes will be reversed.

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